Abarelix ablates testosterone production in prostate cancer
Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer, once used primarily to reduce the circulating level of male hormones in patients with advanced disease, is being used more frequently as a synergistic adjunct to radiotherapy or radical surgery. The advent of agonist-induced reduction in testosterone levels represented an improvement in treatment over both bilateral orchiectomy and the use of female hormones, which have a broad spectrum of cardiovascular complications in men with prostate cancer. An even more desirable method of androgen blockade is using an antagonist which blocks gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors. This causes an immediate and complete reduction of testosterone production to the level of medical castration - the goal of ablation therapy in men with prostate cancer. Recent data on one such agent, abarelix, which is about to enter phase III clinical trials, were presented at the 80th Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society [ New Orleans, US; June 1998 ].