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      Androgen Deprivation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

      "This article below brings into light new new insights into the cardiovascular risk associated with androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer."

      David Robbins, MD

      ADT May Not Be Linked To Increased Risk Of Death From Cardiovascular Causes

      The Los Angeles Times (12/7, Roan) "Booster Shots" blog reports that "a prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy [ADT] has been somewhat controversial because of fears that the medications involved may raise the risk of death from cardiovascular causes", but research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association "did not find that association". Investigators "looked at eight randomized clinical trials" on androgen deprivation therapy.

      Bloomberg News (12/7, Flinn) reports that investigators "examined the results of eight trials of 4,141 patients with prostate cancer that had spread beyond the gland." The researchers found that "eleven percent of patients on the therapy died from heart disease, compared with 11.2 percent in the control group, an insignificant difference, according to the report." Bloomberg News adds, "In a further analysis of 4,805 patients from 11 trials, about 37.7 percent on the medicines died, compared with 44.4 percent in the untreated group."

      HealthDay (12/7, Reinberg) reports, "'The use of hormone therapy and radiation is of benefit for patients,' said Dr. William Kelly, a professor of medical oncology and urology at Thomas Jefferson University's Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial." For "this study, the benefits of hormone therapy outweighed the risks, Kelly said." But, "he noted that these were selected patients in clinical trials, not patients in the general population, in which sicker patients might be at risk for cardiovascular events from hormone therapy."

      WebMD (12/7, Boyles) points out that "just over a year ago the FDA warned that" the "treatments may increase the risk for fatal heart attacks in prostate cancer patients." And before that "warning, health groups -- including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Urological Association -- issued a joint statement designed to alert doctors and patients about the therapy's potential risks."

      Also covering the story were the Boston Business Journal (12/7, Donnelly, Subscription Publication), and Medscape (12/7, Nelson).

      Published: December 10, 2011

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