The introduction of potent analogues of gonadotropin hormone-releasing hormone (GnRH) into clinical practice and their use in patients with metastatic prostatic carcinoma provides an effective alternative to the exogenous administration of pharmacologic doses of estrogens or surgical castration. Their advantages over estrogens are primarily related to a lower incidence of cardiovascular toxicity and gynecomastia. Their choice over orchiectomy is based on cosmetic and psychologic factors since their endocrine effects and clinical benefits are virtually the same. In this review, we describe the current experience with GnRH analogues in the treatment of prostatic carcinoma and discuss their use in the context of other endocrine manipulations. GnRH analogues act on the pituitary and indirectly affect gonadal function, and represent an opportunity for combination with other compounds capable of suppressing or interfering with the effects of circulating androgens. The availability of several new compounds affecting different aspects of androgen metabolism provides promise for rational drug selection and testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research