Oestrogen skin patches 'combat prostate cancer'

05 March 2013

Skin patches which deliver oestrogen into the blood could be an "easy and safe" treatment for prostate cancer over current therapies, researchers say.

The main treatment for prostate cancer is injections of a chemical to cut levels of testosterone – which drives many prostate cancers – but it can cause side effects including osteoporosis, bone fractures and diabetes.

A team at Imperial College London compared skin patches and oestrogen injections in 254 patients and found patches were safe and should avoid menopause-like side effects.

After a year, the researchers also found that those having injections had higher blood glucose and cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease compared to patients treated with patches.

More than 40,000 men in the UK received a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012, according to Cancer Research UK.

Dr Ruth Langley, study author from the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, said: "These promising new findings suggest that we might be able to use oestrogen patches or an oestrogen gel to treat prostate cancer without significantly increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke."

The initial trial has now been extended to look at 660 men to determine the long-term effectiveness and side effects of oestrogen patches.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)