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Prostate cancer drug recommended


Hot flushes in men receiving hormone therapy for prostate cancer should be treated with medroxyprogesterone, according to a report published in Online First in The Lancet Oncology.

Hormone – androgen suppression – uses gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues such as leuprorelin to block the production of male-producing sex hormones, or androgens.

While this suppresses tumour growth, it also causes the hot flushes – a common and unpleasant side-effect experienced by up to 80% of patients.

A French research team has found that although cyproterone, medroxyprogesterone and venlafaxine all reduced hot flushes, the former two were significantly more effective.

The report concludes: “Cyproterone acetate and medroxprogesterone acetate are more effective at 12 weeks for treating hot flushes in men treated with GnRH analogues for prostate cancer…however, as cyproterone is a recognised treatment in prostate cancer, and its use could interfere with hormone therapy, medroxprogesterone should be the standard treatment.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

The Lancet Oncology

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