Research from Varese, Italy shows that prostate cancer that has spread to the body can be treated first with withdrawal of testosterone and then by adding back testosterone.

Once prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is very difficult to treat. First doctors try to remove testosterone, which usually shrinks the cancer for a year or two. Then lack of testosterone can spread prostate cancer further. This research shows that when prostate cancer spreads after testosterone withdrawal, the spread cancer may regress when the patient is given testosterone again. This is early research. Nobody knows when or if the doctor should give back testosterone to the patient. For now, doctors block testosterone only after prostate cancer has spread to other places in the body. Then they give Leupron or other drugs to shut down male hormones. If and when the prostate cancer starts to spread further, it may be worth trying to give testosteorne back.

Antiandrogen withdrawal in the treatment of hormone-relapsed prostate cancer: Single institutional experience. M Caldiroli, V Cova, JA Lovisolo, L Reali, AV Bono. European Urology, 2001, Vol 39, Suppl. 2, pp 6-9. Address: Caldiroli M, Osped Circolo & Fdn Macchi, Div Urol, Viale Borri 57, I-21100 Varese, ITALY

Reported 3/25/01; checked 8/9/05

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