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Lupron definition on WebMD?

foamhand
Posts: 75
Joined: May 2016

I just looked at the definition of Lupron on WebMD and they state that Lupron is used to treat the "symptoms" of prostate cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.

It is my understanding that the Lupron reduces the testosterone (food) that Pca feeds upon, thereby "starving" the cancer and the cancer cells either die or go dormant for long periods. To me...this IS treating the cancer.

Wouldn't treating the symptoms would be more in line with prescribing pain relievers, steroids, etc. to relieve pain, swelling etc.?

foamhand

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3228
Joined: May 2012

Foamhand,

There are hundreds of forms of cancer: any part of the human body can be stricken with it. They differ dramatically. I have had two forms (Prostate and Lymphoma), and had a scare regarding a lung spot that ended up being benign (if it had been cancerous, that would have been type three for me). I mention this because I learned in moving from lymphoma study to prostate study that they have virtually nothing in common, which includes preferred treatments.

Two forms of treatment can often CURE prostate cancer.  Of course, oncologists today avoid the term "cure", but they do specify whether a modality is curative, or not. Treatment toward curative effect is treatment that will eradicate all detectable traces of the disease, either forever or for long periods. Conversely, pallative effect is a treatment that will beat back a cancer, ideally for long periods of time, and which reduces symptoms, but which does not permanently eradicate it.  Pallative cares can often stop advancement of a cancer, or even reduce the size of the disease, with out eliminating it from the body.

Curative treatments for PCa are:  (1) surgery and (2) radiation.  Only. To answer your question: Lupron is not curative of PCa.   To debate whether it is acting against the disease per se or the symptoms is not clinically relevant, except as an academic study of the matter. 

This scholarly article says toward the end that "Lupron does not have a direct effect on the cancer, but only the testicles."  

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/Lupron.aspx

Hormonal therapies are pallative toward PCa.  They are not curative.  The same for chemo: it is pallative against PCa.  Chemo is curative toward most other cancers (if they are non-metastatic, and sometimes even if they are), but this is not the case with PCa.

Fortunately, HT is usually very effective in beating back PCa, frequently for very long periods of time. 

Chemo, when it is given against PCa, is ordinarily a last-ditch buy for time, but it can extend life even for a few years in some cases. Chemo is also rarely given against PCa early-on against PCa to ready men for surgery or other treatments, a proceedure known as neoadjuvant therapy.

Mediacal oncologists routinely mix these treatment tools in complex ways, based upon good results that have been derived from clinical trials. But is is good to ask a doctor EXPLICITLY what the value of any treatment is, and what it best-case-secnario can achieve.  PCa is rapidly introducing new drugs:  HTs that work when others have failed; post-chemo "chemo-like drugs" (Jevtana, Zytiga) that work for a time after chemo itself (usually Taxotere or similiar) has failed.

I have never studied HT specifically, but this is an outline of what modalities can do, and when.  Many others here are highly advanced in the particulars of HT and how to skillfully manipulate it.

max

 

Rakendra's picture
Rakendra
Posts: 198
Joined: Apr 2013

really impresive post. thanks, love, swami

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2958
Joined: Nov 2010

Very well explained.

In advanced cases where "weapons" to treat PCa become scarce, some doctors change the "principle" of cure to control and see the PSA as the bandit, turning their main focus in "treating the PSA". They use the many HT (ADT) weapons minuciously and manage to prolong survival till the patient becomes refractory or dies from other causes. In such environment the side effects take the prime stance in need of particular attention and care. The worse symptom/status would be anemia.

 

bob33462
Posts: 78
Joined: Feb 2016

Lupron, or other homones, are frequently used for two months before radiation treatment. It weakens the prostate cancer cells allowing the radiation to work better.

Per Harvard Medical:

Hormone therapy is a treatment option for men with prostate cancer in any of the following situations:

  • when cancer has metastasized beyond the prostate
  • when cancer is confined to the prostate, but hormone therapy is used to boost the effectiveness of radiation therapy or to shrink the size of a tumor before brachytherapy
  • when PSA begins to rise sometime after initial treatment with surgery or radiation therapy, indicating the cancer may have recurred

Bob

 

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