Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer

Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer

When prostate cancer is referred to as being ‘locally advanced’ the disease has or is close to breaching the prostate capsule. This gives rise to the possibility of the cancer spreading into other healthy tissues, particularly the seminal glands and the lymph nodes of the bladder or pelvis. When referred to as advanced, cancer has breached the prostate and has spread into the body’s healthy tissues via the lymph nodes.

Prostate cancer is incurable and can’t be removed once it has spread, or metastasis into the bones or the body’s soft tissues; this is referred to as advanced prostate cancer. Developments are widespread and treatment methods, techniques and continuing technologies now offer patients an array of options; each advanced treatment vastly improves life expectancy.

Life expectancy

Patients with advanced metastatic prostate cancer typically have up to a six year life expectancy; this figure is two or three times higher than it was just a decade ago. There is now an ever increasing range of more effective chemotherapy drugs widely available to treat prostate cancer and to control its painful symptoms; often proving vital in managing and improving the quality of life for men with advanced stage cancer.

Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer
Credit: Getty Images Ltd.

Primary treatment for advanced prostate cancer

As testosterone accelerates the reproduction of prostate cancer cells, primary treatment focuses on the reduction of a patient’s testosterone levels causing progression of the disease to be controlled. Hormone therapy or anti-androgen treatments are two effective methods of reducing testosterone levels, a MAB (Maximum Androgen Blockade) may also be required.

MAB¹ (Maximum Androgen Blockade) and CAB (Complete/Combined Androgen Blockades) are medical treatments that combine AR (Androgen Receptor) antagonism with the inhibition of androgen production. This therapy optimises the effect and overall results achieved from ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy). The TrAB (Triple Androgen Blockade) combines CAB with inhibitor medication.

It’s also been found that life expectancy can increase by as much as seventeen months when synchronising hormone deprivation and chemotherapy treatments; this is also true for patients with abundant cancer. When cancer resists and hormone therapy becomes ineffective, two methods are available to treat this stage of the disease, known as castrate refractory prostate cancer.

Castrate refractory prostate cancer treatment

Castrate refractory prostate cancer requires two types of treatment to control and prevent the further spread of cancer and to control and prevent the painful symptoms of prostate cancer spreading to the bones. These treatments involve both chemotherapy and hormone therapy; ongoing clinical studies are working towards an increased range of available treatment options.

Symptoms of castrate refractory prostate cancer therapy

Painful symptoms caused when prostate cancer spreads to the bones can be controlled and prevented with these treatments and may also include the use of radio-pharmaceuticals or palliative external beam radiotherapy. To relieve the spinal cord of pressure from bone metastases or to treat fractured bones, the option of surgical procedures could be considered.

¹Wikipedia, MaB Entry, January 2021
²Treatment support options

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