Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer (Androgen Deprivation Therapy, or ADT) - Topic Overview
Sometimes androgen deprivation (orchiectomy or an LH-RH
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). According to research studies, men who had CAB that included flutamide or nilutamide lived longer than the men who had only androgen deprivation therapy.3
Other hormone therapies may include the use of
medicines such as megestrol, estrogen, aminoglutethimide
combined with hydrocortisone, and corticosteroids (prednisone, dexamethasone,
Timing of hormone therapy
Research does not clearly show whether starting hormone therapy before symptoms appear allows men to live longer than if they waited until after symptoms appear to start taking medicine.3 Men who start hormone therapy almost always stay on it for the rest of their lives. So waiting until symptoms appear may allow men to delay the serious side effects of hormone therapy.
Alternatives to conventional hormone therapy
- Intermittent androgen deprivation (IAD).
This involves cycles of hormone therapy medicines. Taking breaks during hormone
therapy gives men the chance to recover their ability to function sexually. It
also gives relief from the other side effects of hormone therapy, including hot
flashes and the effects on energy as well as bone and muscle mass. The
long-term survival outcome of IAD compared to conventional ADT is not yet
- Antiandrogen monotherapy. Antiandrogens are
medicines that block the action of androgens in the body. Antiandrogen monotherapy means taking antiandrogens without other hormone medicines.