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 Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>