Prolia: A promising new drug for Prostate Cancer

Prolia (or, as it is also known, Denosumab) is an exciting new medication which promises to help men with prostate cancer with the damage to their bones that can result from the treatments that are given to control their prostate cancers.
Just as cars use gasoline for fuel and jet planes use airplane fuel, prostate cancer uses the hormone known as Testosterone as its fuel. Testosterone stimulates the growth and spread of prostate cancer. An excellent and easy way to stop prostate cancer, then, is to shut down the production and/or the effects of Testosterone in the body. This is readily and reliably achieved by “anti-Testosterone” medications known as LHRH agonists, antiandrogens or both given together. Over time, however, these wonderful “anti-Testosterone” medications, which do so much good for men with prostate cancer, can cause the bones of the body to become weaker, brittle and possibly even break or fracture.
Prolia, which is also known by the more scientific name of Denosumab, is a new and exciting medication produced by a company known as Amgen in California, which is showing excellent promise for helping to improve the bone loss that results from the use of the Testosterone-stopping medications mentioned earlier.
There are other medications on the market that help to stop bone loss – particularly one known as Zometa made by a company known as Novartis, which until now has been pretty much the “go to” medication when it comes to treating the bone loss resultant from the use of Testosterone-stopping medications. The key with this new medicine known as Prolia (also known as Denosumab), however, is that it works in a very new way to combat the bone loss.
How does Prolia (Denosumab) work? Well, in order to understand how Prolia works, we first need to talk a little bit about how our bones work in general. The way the bones of our bodies work is that they are constantly breaking themselves down and building themselves back up again over and over again constanly in order to keep our bones fresh and strong. Really? Yes, really. The key, however, is that this happens constantly but very slowly and so we do not notice it. All we notice is that our bones remain hard and strong and they continue to support our bodies.
Well, Prolia (Denosumab) STOPS the “break down” part of the “break down and build up” cycle we just mentioned earlier. By stopping the “break down” half of the cycle, the bones of the body will only continue to “build up” and get stronger and not get weaker.
The nice thing about Prolia (Denosumab) is that it seems to promise to be good not only for the bone loss that happens to men who are receiving Testosterone-stopping medicines as part of their treatment for prostate cancer, but it also promises to be good for women with breast cancer who are being treated with hormone therapies for their breast cancers. What is even better is that Prolia does not seem to have any worse side effects than Zometa (which has been pretty much the “standard” medicine to help avoid bone loss until now) – except, perhaps, a few more episodes of low calcium blood levels. This is an easy situation to monitor with a blood test from time to time and then to treat.
All of the above concepts and much more information is covered in very easy-to-understand language in the Prostate Cancer audio CD which is available on the web site.

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2 Responses to “Prolia: A promising new drug for Prostate Cancer”

  1. RemwesMedical says:

    This is a good question. No, your doctors do not need to tell you about bone loss if you are only receiving RADIATION therapy. The bone loss comes from the use of HORMONE therapy over time – thankfully, not from the use of radiation therapy. As such, it was ok for your doctors to not tell you about bone loss if you are only receiving radiation therapy. Yes, one can take medications to build up the bones at the same time as taking radiation therapy but, again, the bone loss comes from the use of hormone therapies and not from the use of radiation therapy. As such, unless you are taking radiation therapy AND hormone therapy, there is no real indication for taking bone building medications if you are only taking radiation therapy and not hormone therapy.

  2. s. gromowsky says:

    i am currently taking radiation therapy for prostate cancer, should doctors have told men yet about bone loss, this is the first i have found on this. also can it be taken along with radiation therapy?

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