Prostate Cancer 2b Lupron – Hormonal Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Lupron is the trade name for a hormone therapeutic product that is used in the treatment of prostate cancer, better known to the medical community as leuprolide. It is what is referred to as a GnRH (gonadotropine releasing hormone) agonist, a type of hormone therapy that is meant to treat prostate carcinoma in men by manipulating the hormones that are implicated as (not causal but) factors that contribute to the growth and advancement of the disease.

Hormonal treatment is one of the cornerstones of prostate cancer intervention, particularly helpful for the treatment of men with metastatic prostate type of cancer that has started to invade various parts of the body and do damage.

Lupron therapy, if kept up, causes the level of GnRH in the body to increase, which in turn increases the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body. Ordinarily this would precursor an increase in the amount of DHT that is produced by the prostate gland, but if the treatment is sustained, the body cannot sustain the amount of DHT production and it eventually crashes out. Within a couple of weeks, the cancer would first cease to grow, and then hopefully start to regress. At the very least, most cases of metastatic prostate cancer would slow their progression when treated to lupron therapy.

DHT is the actual hormone that prostate malignant tumor cells appear to feed on when they propagate. Full name dihydrotestosterone, the hormone is produced by the prostate after being stimulated by testosterone from the testicles and dehydroepiandrosterone from the adrenal glands. Orchiectomy (surgical operation to remove the testicles) would seem like a better means of ceasing the body’s production of testosterone, and hence the synthesis of DHT, but most patients are concerned about the invasiveness of that procedure.

Lupron therapy is more expensive than testicular orchiectomy, but it is less invasive, and that is good enough for most patients; unless compelled by other reasons, which may be medical or not, several patients with advanced prostate cancer might want to stay with the leuprolide treatment.

There is quite a small catch, though: lupron is not a cure for prostate type of cancer, but merely a treatment. That perhaps is why they rarely bother with it in early stage disease when the condition can still be cured. However, even though the cancer is outside the prostate organ and spreading, it can be slowed enough to sustain a quality of life for the patient before another treatment like chemotherapy is administered. Other drugs that qualify in the same category are Eligard®, Viadur® or goserelin (Zoladex®).

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