Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size
A
A
A

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer (Androgen Deprivation Therapy, or ADT) - Topic Overview

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer is also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Prostate cancer cannot grow or survive without androgens, which include testosterone and other male hormones. Hormone therapy decreases the amount of androgens in a man's body. Reducing androgens can slow the growth of the cancer and even shrink the tumor.

Hormone therapy may be used along with radiation treatment when there is a high risk of the cancer returning. Or hormone therapy may be used after surgery or radiation if any cancer remains.

Recommended Related to Prostate Cancer

Treatment for Prostate Cancer

There’s no one prostate cancer treatment that’s right for every man, but you've got plenty of options. Your doctor will consider many things when he recommends one for you, including: The size of your tumor and how far it has spread, called the stage of your disease How quickly the tumor is likely to grow Your age and how healthy you are Your personal preferences

Read the Treatment for Prostate Cancer article > >

Hormone therapy may also help men who have cancer that has spread and who cannot have surgery or radiation. It may be used when prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate (metastatic disease). In these cases, hormone therapy reduces pain and helps men live a little longer.1

Hormone therapy may be used to suppress prostate cancer cells, which is reflected in lower levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

Hormone therapy alone is sometimes used as the main treatment for prostate cancer in men who can't have surgery or radiation. But hormone therapy doesn't seem to help men ages 66 and older who have localized prostate cancer. These men live just as long with active surveillance.2

Taking medicine, such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) medicine, is one way to reduce androgens. Another way, used much less often, is surgery to remove the testicles, also known as an orchiectomy.

  • LHRH agonists. These drugs stop the body from making testosterone. They include goserelin (Zoladex), histrelin (Vantas), leuprolide (Lupron), and triptorelin (Trelstar).
  • LHRH antagonists. These drugs stop the body from making testosterone. They work right away. And they avoid the flare caused by LHRH agonists, which can make symptoms worse for several weeks. One LHRH antagonist is degarelix (Firmagon).
  • Androgen inhibitors. These are medicines that block enzymes that the body needs to make testosterone. They include enzalutamide (Xtandi), ketoconazole, and abiraterone (Zytiga), which is given along with prednisone.
  • Antiandrogens. These drugs often are used along with LHRH agonists. Antiandrogens help block the body's supply of testosterone. There are steroidal antiandrogens and "pure" antiandrogens. The steroidal antiandrogens include megestrol (Megace). The "pure" or nonsteroidal antiandrogens include bicalutamide (Casodex), flutamide, and nilutamide (Nilandron).
  • Orchiectomy. This surgery is considered to be hormone therapy. This is because removing the testicles, where more than 90% of the body's androgens are made, decreases testosterone levels. Removing the testicles may be the simplest way to reduce androgen levels, but it is permanent.

Sometimes androgen deprivation (orchiectomy or an LHRH agonist) and an antiandrogen are used together for treatment. This targets the testosterone made by the testicles and the adrenal glands. It is called a combined androgen blockade (CAB).

Other hormone therapies may include the use of medicines such as megestrol, estrogen, aminoglutethimide combined with hydrocortisone, and corticosteroids (prednisone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone).

1 | 2 | 3
1 | 2 | 3
Next Article:

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer (Androgen Deprivation Therapy, or ADT) Topics

Today on WebMD

man with doctor
Symptoms, risks, treatments
man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore
 
prostate cancer cells
What does this diagnosis mean?
doctor and male patient
Is it worth it?
 
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
FEATURE
 
Prostate Enlarged
VIDEO
Picture Of The Prostate
ANATOMY
 
Prostate Cancer Quiz
QUIZ
screening tests for men
SLIDESHOW
 
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
VIDEO
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW