Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

HRT patches prevent the side-effect of osteoporosis when used as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer

15.11.2004


Men using the female estrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches as treatment for advanced prostate cancer suffer fewer side effects than with other treatments, according to a new study reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Urology (December 2004). Scientists at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and Imperial College London have already shown that HRT patches have considerable potential as prostate cancer therapy. For the first time they have additionally shown that this therapy, unlike other current treatments, prevents bone loss (osteoporosis) and instead causes an increase in bone density. These early studies confirm the considerable promise of estrogen hormone patches in advanced prostate cancer.



Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK, with about 20,000 cases diagnosed every year. Affecting men generally over the age of 45, prostate cancer grows slowly and may go undetected for many years. In some cases, the cancer can spread to bones and other organs of the body. The causes of prostate cancer are mainly unknown, but it requires the male hormone testosterone, produced in the testicles, to develop and grow. Treatment of advanced disease has resulted in therapies that reduce or remove testosterone from the body, via surgical or medical ‘castration.’

“Depriving the cancer of testosterone is the well accepted method of slowing down the progression of advanced prostate cancer,” comments lead author Mr Paul Abel, consultant urologist at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and Imperial College London. “The problem is that conventional current therapies which involve testosterone reduction can have serious side effects such as osteoporosis, which has not been fully appreciated until quite recently. This has led to reports of an increasing chance of bone fractures in these patients. Our study shows that oestrogen therapy delivered by skin patches not only controls prostate cancer, but prevents bone loss and in most cases, increases bone mass.”


Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones, particularly in the hip, spine and wrist, become fragile and more likely to break. The risk of hip fracture is serious, as it almost always requires hospitalisation and major surgery. It can impair a person’s ability to walk unassisted and may cause permanent disability. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including severe back pain and deformity. Once viewed primarily as a women’s disease, osteoporosis is becoming increasingly important as prostate cancer sufferers survive for longer periods of time.

The study looked at 20 men with late stage prostate cancer who were given oestrogen hormone replacement therapy skin patches, and measured bone mass using an advanced imaging technique known as x-ray bone densiometry. Average increase in bone density was over 3%, with almost all patients gaining bone density to some extent. “Patients having conventional prostate cancer treatment can lose between 2 and 10% of their bone mass alone in the first year of treatment with an increasing risk of bone fracture the longer treatment continues,” explains Mr Abel, “whereas the increase in bone mass we have seen in this trial is by contrast promising news.”

Larger trials of the HRT patch therapy for prostate cancer are planned so that long-term effectiveness and side effects of this therapy can be clarified. They will take place before this treatment is offered routinely on the NHS.

The researchers are very encouraged by the results so far, which also hold considerable promise for healthcare cost reductions. Hormone patches cost about one tenth of conventional single treatments. “There is potential for a cost saving of over US$2 billion in advanced prostate cancer treatment if this therapy is rolled out worldwide," adds Mr Abel.

Simon Wilde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hhnt.nhs.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>