Leukine and Prostate Cancer – Leukine Treatment for HRPCAs

Leukine therapy ? Background

Leukine is the trade name of sargramostim, recombinant yeast derived granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) that was initially developed by Amgen back in ’87 and first administered as part of a compassionate use protocol for the victims of the Goiânia cesium irradiation accident. FDA approved today, this drug is now Berlex Laboratories for the acceleration of white blood cell recovery after an autologous bone marrow transplantation procedure. It was approved for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, acute lymphocytic leukemia, or Hodgkin’s disease in March 1991 and by the close of ’96 is received approval for the treatment of fungal infections and replenishment of white blood cells following chemotherapy.

Today, leukine therapy for prostate cancer is actually hardly a treatment for the procedure, but more a sustenance that is meant to bide the tide while chemotherapy is being applied to prostate cancer patients in the advanced stages of the disease.

Chemotherapy for obvious reasons is often not the treatment of choice for a patient who has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and staged to realize that the carcinoma is still within the prostate gland. At such times, various forms of radical prostatectomy or radiation treatments are considered first before anything else ? hormonal therapy is also taken into account should the tumor be considered large enough to constitute a safety risk during operation. Hormone treatments generally slow down the progression of a cancer and in several cases they cause the tumor to shrink, which significantly lowers the risk of surgery.

But then, there are times when the melanoma of the prostate becomes metastatic prostate cancer in the bones and lymphatic system, and all over the bloodstream. When that happens, chemotherapy suddenly becomes the most likely intervention. Chemo uses pharmaceutical pills orally ingested, or intravenously administered drugs, to kill cancer cells, especially those that have spread throughout the body from their point of origin. Leukine treatments are often administered either to delay the start of chemotherapy or to bide the tide in-between chemo treatments.

The various combinations of Leukine that may be used to delay the start of chemotherapy or extend the off time from chemotherapy are mostly Leukine and other Leukine combinations; leukine and retinoids; leukine and thalidomide; or Leukine and high dose ketoconazole and hydrocortisone. There appears to be great potential in this regard but final test results are not yet out so that this possible role of leukine in extending the off period during intermittent chemotherapy will not be asserted until then. Until then, a research team in Florida continues to work on the mix.

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