Hormonal Therapy Androgen Deprivation Therapy(ADT)
Various types of hormones used to decrease production of testosterone to inhibit growth and progress of cancer. Hormones used as palliative therapy for patients with advanced disease; also used with primary treatments like radiation for localized prostate cancer to enhance effectiveness.
Easy oral and/or injection treatment. Offers survival advantages to patients with advanced disease and patients with localized disease undergoing primary treatments, such as radiation therapy. Hormones have a synergistic effect when used with radiation, improving results.
Potential side-effects depending on the agent or combination of agents; high risk of erectile dysfunction and menopause-like symptoms (hot flashes, loss of libido, fragile bones, enlarged painful breasts); may cause increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Cancers eventually become resistant to hormonal therapy.
Many studies indicate that hormones are appropriate for late stage patients only when all other options have been expended, since hormonal therapy is non-curative in intent. There are also studies supporting the use of hormones to reduce the size of the prostate with early state patients undergoing primary therapy.
Keating NL, et al, “Diabetes and cardiovascular disease during androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer” J Clin Onc, Vol 24, No 27: 4448-4454