Navigation Links
Intermittent Hormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer Not the Best
Date:4/3/2013

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Advanced prostate cancer patients who are given drugs aimed at lowering their testosterone production to slow the spread of tumors don't get much benefit if the drugs are given only intermittently.

A large international study suggests that the treatment, called intermittent androgen deprivation therapy, may actually do more harm than good, although the numbers are vague and the regimen may temporarily reduce some side effects.

"It's not clear whether there is a benefit to intermittent therapy," said study lead author Dr. Maha Hussain, co-leader of the Prostate Cancer Program at the University of Michigan. However, she added, "in terms of survival, it's not superior."

At issue are patients with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Their prognosis is typically grim, and as part of their treatment, many receive hormone-therapy drugs aimed at stopping the body's production of testosterone. The treatment is either continuous or is intermittent to give patients relief from side effects of the therapy.

The treatment, a form of castration via medication, isn't easy to tolerate. It essentially causes a form of male menopause, Hussain said. "You end up getting symptoms that are quite distressing, such as hot flashes, weight gain, reduced muscle mass and impotence, and libido goes down," she said.

But it does slow the spread of the disease in about 90 percent of patients, Hussain said, although at some point most patients become immune to the treatment.

In the new study, researchers analyzed the experiences of more than 1,500 men with newly diagnosed, metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, who were assigned to continuous or intermittent treatment with testosterone-lowering drugs and tracked for a median of more than nine years.

Men with a stable or declining PSA level equal to or below a cut-off of 4 ng/ml were randomly assigned to continue or to discontinue the hormone therapy. The therapy was resumed for those in the intermittent group when the PSA climbed to 20 ng/ml.

According to the findings, there was a 10 percent increase in the risk of death with intermittent therapy. Average survival was 5.8 years for the continuous group and 5.1 years for the intermittent group.

But the study called the findings "statistically inconclusive" for figuring out which treatment helps men live longer. And men who took the intermittent treatment did report better quality of life and mental health three months into the study, but not afterward.

Hussain said continuous treatment should remain the standard if the focus is on extending life. But those worried about side effects could still consider the intermittent treatment, she added.

The study, which didn't examine how much each kind of treatment costs, appears in the April 4 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Bruce Roth, a professor of medicine in the division of oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, said the standard of care should probably remain the continuous approach. Some doctors are currently experimenting with the intermittent approach, he said, although there has been a shortage of high-quality research to support it.

The good news, he said, is that physicians are moving closer to turning prostate cancer into a chronic yet treatable disease, like high blood pressure and diabetes.

More information

For more on prostate cancer, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Maha Hussain, M.D., professor of medicine and urology, associate director for clinical research and co-leader, Prostate Cancer Program, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor; Bruce Roth, M.D., professor of medicine, Division of Oncology, Washington University in St. Louis; April 4, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Hormone may help predict tubal ectopic pregnancy
2. New inflammation hormone link may pave way to study new drugs for Type 2 diabetes
3. Dieting May Lower Hormone Levels Tied to Breast Cancer
4. Gum disease joins hot flashes and PMS associated with womens hormones
5. Trivedi Beef, LLC Announces Breakthrough Beef Industry Data without the use of Antibiotic Drugs, Hormones or Steroids
6. Trust hormone oxytocin found at heart of rare genetic disorder
7. Hormone Ratio May Show Which Dieters Will Keep Weight Off
8. 15 top medical organizations agree on hormone therapy use
9. Long-term hormone treatment increases synapses in rat prefrontal cortex
10. Medical Groups Agree on Use of Hormone-Replacement Therapy
11. Force of habit: Stress hormones switch off areas of the brain for goal-directed behaviour
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Intermittent Hormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer Not the Best
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Dianne Michael Insurance ... in Hamilton County, is embarking on a charity drive with the aim of ... homes for orphaned or neglected senior dogs in the Cincinnati region, and LuvFurMutts ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... Coppin Insurance ... owners and families in and around the Cape Coral area, is embarking on a ... Food Bank of Southwest Florida. , The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... families and business owners in and around central Kansas, is joining the Youth ... youth in the region. , Headquartered in Wichita, Youth Horizons works to empower ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... "Today, MHA ... most comprehensive mental health systems reform legislation in more than fifty years. We ... the commitment of our elected officials to improving mental health services and supports ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... and deep lines by smoothing and tightening the skin of the face to ... to address facial aging with very little downtime, Silhouette Instalift is a novel, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... QUEBEC CITY , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... key US patents for improving the accuracy, reproducibility ... CD images in long and small bone orthopaedic ... proprietary approach to creating personalized orthopaedic restorations based ... create personalized orthopaedic restorations, the company harnesses the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  A new study ... that the use of opioid therapy to treat chronic ... the likelihood of more harmful consequences, including death. ... M.D., and Zankhana Mehta , M.D., authored the ... on chronic opioid therapy. The study was published in ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Information products and services provider ... Scopus , the world,s largest abstract and citation database of ... for journals from over 5,000 publishers. The new set of metrics ... to and when to adjust a journal,s editorial strategy. ... , , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: