Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer 'may be harmful for men with heart problems'

4 October 2016

A new study has indicated that hormonal therapy for prostate cancer may not be beneficial for men with a history of heart problems.

The Yale Cancer Center research analysed data on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) among men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer randomised to receive either radiation therapy or radiation therapy and six months of hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy works by blocking the production of androgens, or male sex hormones, which are necessary for the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells. The study showed that younger men with fewer cardiac risk factors experienced the largest benefit from the treatment.

By contrast, men with a prior history of heart attack actually saw a decrease in QALYs when receiving hormone therapy, suggesting this therapeutic approach may in fact do more harm than good in these cases.

Dr Nataniel Lester-Coll of the department of therapeutic radiology at Yale School of Medicine said: "Patient age, cardiac risk and disease recurrence risk should be considered when selecting candidates for hormone therapy in this patient population."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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