Groundbreaking Research Into the Power of Testosterone Therapy
In 2020, it is estimated that 175,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, predicted to result in 33,330 deaths. At the 2019 Prostate Cancer Foundation Retreat (PCF 2019), oncology experts and physicians talked about clinical research into how testosterone can successfully treat prostate cancer.
The participants in the research drew several things from a closer look at how cancer cell replication can be disrupted and profoundly affected by carefully managed changes in testosterone levels.
High/Low: How Changing Testosterone Doses Helps
Michael Schweizer, Assistant Professor at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, is one of the oncologists involved in the research. He explained how they used a cycle of exceptionally high – ‘super physiologic’ – doses of testosterone alternated with a very low count – castrate level – to create a rapid fluctuation of hormonal activity.
Test subjects took Luteinising Hormone-Releasing Hormone to decrease testosterone levels and underwent monthly injections of high dose testosterone (an increase of almost ten-fold for some patients) to create that essential variability.
For cancer cells that have adapted to surviving low testosterone levels, the idea is that this oscillation prevents cancer cells from thriving.
The research indicates that testosterone treatment combined with PARP inhibitors to prevent the natural repair protein in the body from trying to heal any damage, can be used to induce targeted DNA corruption to the cancer cells.
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“One of the mechanisms that we think underlies these effects is the ability of testosterone to induce DNA damage. And so we had some preclinical models that showed that when you combine testosterone with PARP inhibitors, you can actually increase the ability for testosterone to kill cancer cells.”
Michael Schweizer, MD, Physician, Assistant Professor, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Positive Side Effects of Treatment
The effect of the treatment was interesting in other ways – many of the clinical test subjects found that their libido and energy were restored as a result of the trial, to the extent that they were keen for treatment to continue, as the effects were so positive.
Given the prevalence of prostate cancer in our society, this groundbreaking research is exciting and promising.
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