Why Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer And Survival Rates

Treating prostate cancer with hormone therapy has been in practice for long enough for most medical experts to know that it has limited functionability as a cure for the disease. However, it has been found that certain forms of hormonal therapy such as the pamidronate may prevent bone loss during androgen-deprivation therapy for the disease. A test was carried out by several professionals, which included Matthew R. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Francis J. McGovern, M.D., Anthony L. Zietman, M.D., and five others with a purpose to determine whether gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists prevent osteoporosis in men with prostate cancer.

In their test, it was found that patients treated to leuprolide (lupron) only lost bone mineral density of about 3.3%, while patient treated to leuprolide and pamidronate experienced no significant bone mineral density changes at any skeletal site – an interesting fact that suggests that lupron might is great help in treating the disease.

Other tests were carried out, for instance the use of alternative antiandrogens to treat prostate cancer relapse after initial hormone therapy, and hormone therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer. In the latter study, 208 students were evaluated with locally advanced prostate cancer and treated with gonadal androgen ablation or gonadal androgen ablation and an antiandrogen.

Published in the Journal of Urology, August 2002, the study determined that fourteen patients died of causes related to cancer and 71 patients died of associative diseases. Complications from the primary tumor developed in 13 patients and included obstructive symptoms, which required a transurethral prostate resection (TURP), a ureteral obstruction, or persistent hematuria.

Generally those who survived appeared to be those with a Gleason score less than 8. At five years all cause survival was 59 percent and at eight years it was 41 percent. Complications from treatment developed in four patients and included flutamide hepatotocicity and a hip fracture.

From the studies, what was found all in all is that prostate cancer hormone therapy still does not cure the disease, and that survival rates from the treatment, although apparently fair, are still insufficient for jubilation. To that end, the treatments would either have to be improved upon, or ditched in favor of other procedures that are being realized all of the time.

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