Degarelix for the treatment of Prostate Cancer

There is an exciting new medication which was just recently approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the USA) on December 24th, 2008 for the treatment of advanced Prostate Cancer. This new medicine is known as Degarelix and it is made by a company known as Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
Once prostate cancer has grown and has spread outside of the prostate gland, it is typically no longer able to be cured but is able to be controlled for years with what is known as hormonal therapy. The types of hormone therapies that have been available for us to use until now have been of two basic types.
One is the “LHRH agonists” of which Leupron or Zoladex are common examples and the other is the “Antiandrogens” of which Casodex or Eulexin are common examples.
Well, we now have a third type of hormone therapy that has been approved by the FDA and this one is called Degarelix. What Degarelix does is to actually BLOCK the GnRH RECEPTOR. GnRH stands for “Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone” and this is a hormone that originates in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus which stimulates the production of another hormone called LH (Leutenizing Lormone). This LH hormone, then, in turn causes the testicles to produce testosterone.
There are “receptors” in the brain that, when triggered, cause the brain (i.e. the hypothalamus part of the brain as we mentioned earlier) to produce GnRH which in turn, as we have seen, causes the production of LH which in turn stimulates the testicles to produce Testosterone. Thus, by blocking the RECEPTOR for GnRH in the brain, the brain is not stimulated to produce GnRH. Thus, since no GnRH is made, then no LH is made and thus finally, no testosterone is made thus by the testicles. Prostate cancer depends on the presence of testosterone in the body as its stimulus for growth and spread. Therefore, without testosterone, the cancer stops growing and shrinks – often for years.
The best part about this new medication known as Degarelix, is that it avoids what is known as the “flare” reaction that is sometimes a problem with the use of the more classic “LHRH agonists”. All of these concepts and many more are covered in very easy-to-understand language in the Prostate Cancer audio CD available on

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