Prostate cancer hormone therapy linked to severe kidney problems

Men who are treated for prostate cancer with hormone-targeted therapy have a higher risk of developing kidney problems according to research from a team of scientists at the McGill University, Montreal. Team leader Laurent Azoulay and his colleagues found that men taking hormone-targeted therapy were between two and three times more likely to have their kidneys stop working, taking into account other health conditions and medicines.

Historically this ‘androgen deprivation therapy’, has been shown to lower the risk of death amongst men with advanced, aggressive prostate cancer. But researchers now say it is increasingly being used to treat possible recurrences among men with less advanced disease. For these the benefits are less clear, and the risks more worrisome.

‘Our study does raise the concern that perhaps we should be more careful in prescribing androgen deprivation therapy in patients who do not have the clear indication for it’ said Azoulay.

Hormone-targeted treatment has previously been linked to a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Azoulay and his colleagues took UK data on 10,250 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1997 and 2008. The men were followed for an average of just over four years after their diagnosis and during that time, 232 of them developed an acute kidney injury - a rapid drop in kidney function. The researchers compared those men to 2,721others from the study who were the same age and were not diagnosed with kidney problems.

In total, just over half of the men were taking androgen deprivation therapy (the Journal of the American Medical Association, 16 July). Source Reuters


July - Oct 2013 Cancer Watch
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