Prostate cancer is one of the diseases that are resistant to drug treatment. Still, researchers in health and oncology are wrecking their brains on synthesizing drugs to treat prostate cancer and prevent it from spreading. Prostate cancer drugs are mostly tried as part of hormone therapy. This approach is based on the relation between testosterone, a type of hormone, and its role in promoting prostate cancer. Drugs used in the treatment of the condition tend to block the amount of testosterone produced or nullify its action. Two important types of prostate cancer drugs have been developed for coping with the prostate cancer problem: pituitary down regulators and anti-androgens.
Pituitary down Regulators
Testosterone is produced by the testes in men. The production of testosterone is triggered by a hormone that is released by the pituitary gland in the brain. Prostate cancer drugs called pituitary down regulators block this triggering hormone and prevent the release of testosterone by the testes. Leuprorelin (available as Prostap) and?goserelin acetate (available as Zoladex) are the better known varieties of pituitary down regulators. The patient is given these drugs by injecting under his skin, once every one to three months. At first, symptoms of prostate may appear growing worse and the therapist would prescribe other medication to control this effect.
These prostate cancer drugs are more particularly used to prevent prostate cancer from growing. Anti-androgens are taken as tablets and they stop the testosterone from getting to the cancerous cells. Thus they prevent the spread of cancer. Cyproterone acetate, (available as Cyprostat), Flutamide (available as Drogenil), and Bicalutamide (available as Casodex) are the better known examples of anti-andreogens. Due to its role in causing liver problems, Cyprostat is not recommended for long term use. Flutamide is prescribed for using three times daily. In some causes, it may cause diarrhoea in which case the pateint is advised to consult his physician. Casodex is usually taken once daily. High dose treatment of Casodex are now discouraged in men going through the early stages of prostate cancer i.e. when it has not yet spraed outside the prostate gland. In case of advanced prostate cancer, Casodex is prescribed in lower doses (50 mg) along with a pituitary down regulator.
Combining the Prostate Cancer Drugs
Usually a patient is put on either anti-andreogens or on pituitary down regulators. The latter are usually thought to be more effective inhibitors of prostate cancer growth. Both drugs can, however, be combined in cases if, symptoms of prostate appear to get worse by the use of one type of these drugs or prostate cancer appears to become resistant to any one type of these drugs.