Experts believe that one of the causes of prostate cancer is the high level of testosterone in a man’s body.
A new study suggests that a strategic treatment called bipolar androgen therapy might prove efficient against prostate cancer. This new medical strategy means that cancer patients must alternate between low and high levels of testosterone, instead of undergoing standard hormonal therapy.
The researchers explained that the most used treatment when it comes to prostate cancer is hormonal therapy. This helps lower the levels of testosterone, which prevents the cancerous tumor from further growing. The downside of the hormonal therapy is that cancer cells can increase their ability to collect any testosterone from the body.
The new bipolar androgen therapy forces the cancer tumor to respond again to a higher level of testosterone and helps by reversing the tumor’s resistance to standard hormonal therapy.
Researchers said that if this will be confirmed in several trials, it could lead to a new approach on treating prostate cancer, especially for patients who have are resistant to standard hormonal therapy.
Dr. Michael Schweizer is an assistant professor of oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and said that the bipolar androgen therapy is not ready yet to be introduced as a routine prostate cancer treatment since researchers are still studying it.
Studying the effects of the bipolar androgen therapy, the researchers had 16 men with prostate cancer and were resistant to standard hormonal therapy. The patients received bipolar androgen therapy and seven men out of 16 had their cancer go into remission. In four of the 16 men, their tumors shrank and in one man the tumor disappeared completely.
Dr. Schweizer said that 50% of the patients had witnessed a decline in the prostate specific antigen levels and in 50% the cancer tumors shrank.
One of the authors of the study, Dr. Samuel Denmeade explained that the new approach in treating prostate cancer has seen great results beyond its effects on the cancer cells.
The study on bipolar androgen therapy was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on January 7.
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