Tags: Cancer | prostate | cancer | treatment | adt | testosterone | risk

Popular Prostate Cancer Treatment May Do More Harm Than Good

By    |   Thursday, 23 October 2014 05:30 PM

A widely used treatment for prostate cancer may do more harm than good for some patients, new research suggests.

The treatment — androgen deprivation (ADT) — involves injections that suppress the production of testosterone, which is believed to fuel tumor growth. For decades, many men diagnosed with prostate cancer have been treated with ADT.
But the new research — led by Oliver Sartor, M.D., medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center — has revealed it is the wrong approach for some men with localized disease (where the tumor has not spread beyond the prostate) because it provides no added survival benefit and may lead to other serious health issues.
"Men with advanced disease, or certain men with aggressive disease confined to the prostate gland, are potential ADT candidates," said Dr. Sartor. "Testosterone suppression can increase radiation cure rates for certain aggressive cancers, and it is standard of care for metastatic disease."
But for men with low-grade, prostate-confined cancers, it is not the best option.  
"We now have good evidence this treatment may cause more harm than good for these individuals," said Dr. Sartor, "especially patients with slow-growing tumors who are not likely to die of their disease."
ADT can potentially lead to hot flashes, loss of libido, fracture risk, muscle loss, fatigue, depression, diabetic risk, erectile dysfunction, and weight gain.
Of the 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, over half are early stage and low risk.
The bottom line: such cases are best handled through "active surveillance" to be sure the cancer does not spread or pose a risk.
"Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer may not need to be treated," said Dr. Sartor.

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A common treatment for prostate cancer - androgen deprivation (ADT) - may cause more harm than good for some patients, new research suggests.
prostate, cancer, treatment, adt, testosterone, risk
Thursday, 23 October 2014 05:30 PM
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