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Prostate cancer drug reduces testosterone levels in as little as 3 days
Date:12/3/2008

More than 95 per cent of men who took degarelix for prostate cancer saw their testosterone levels fall dramatically as early as three days after they started treatment, according to a paper in the December issue of BJU International.

They also experienced much greater falls in their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels at 14 and 28 days than men taking leuprolide.

Researchers from Canada, the USA, France, Denmark and the Netherlands studied 610 men as part of the Phase Three trial, randomly assigning them to one of three study groups.

"Androgen deprivation hormone therapy is an effective response to prostate cancer, but the drugs that are most widely used cause an initial rise in testosterone - the hormone we are trying to reduce - when the patient first takes them" explains lead author Dr Laurence Klotz from the Division of Urology at the University of Toronto, Canada.

"We prefer to avoid this biochemical surge as it can stimulate the prostate cancer cells and exacerbate a number of clinical symptoms, such as spinal cord compression and bone pain. It could also result in more rapid growth of microscopic disease that is present in the patient but is too small to be detected.

"Degarelix is a new gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist. It works by binding to, and blocking, the GnRH receptors in the pituitary gland, reducing the amount of LH and FSH hormones that are released. This leads directly to a rapid fall in testosterone."

Group one (207 patients) received an injection of 240mg of degarelix in month one, followed by a maintenance dose of 80mg every month for eleven months and group two (202 patients) received 240mg of degarelix in month one followed by a maintenance dose of 160mg for eleven months.

The third group (201 patients) received a monthly 7.5mg dose of leuprolide, which is a GnRH agonist.

At the start of the trial the study participants had a med
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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