The role of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone antagonists in the treatment of patients with advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer in the UK

Comparing gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists and agonists as androgen deprivation therapy for advanced prostate cancer (PC).

This article stems from a round-table meeting in December 2014 to compare the properties of GnRH agonists and antagonists in the published literature in order to identify the patient groups most likely to benefit from GnRH antagonist therapy. A broad PubMed and congress abstract search was carried out in preparation for the meeting to ensure that the latest data and opinion were available for the discussions.

In randomised, controlled trials, GnRH antagonist therapy provides more rapid suppression of luteinising hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone than GnRH agonist treatment. Compared with the GnRH agonist, there is evidence of improved disease control by a GnRH antagonist, with longer interval to prostate-specific antigen progression and greater reduction of serum alkaline phosphatase. In a post hoc analysis of six randomised trials, the risk of cardiac events within 1 year of initiating therapy was significantly lower among men receiving GnRH antagonist than agonist. Pre-clinical laboratory data suggest a number of mechanisms whereby GnRH antagonist therapy may benefit men with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD), the most plausible hypothesis being that, unlike GnRH agonists, GnRH antagonists do not activate T lymphocytes, which act to increase atherosclerotic plaque rupture.

When making treatment decisions, clinicians should consider comorbidities, particularly CVD, in addition to effects on PC. GnRH antagonists may be appropriate in patients with significant CV risk, existing osteopenia, lower urinary tract symptoms and significant metastatic disease.

World journal of urology. 2016 Apr 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Derek J Rosario, Patrick Davey, James Green, Damien Greene, Bruce Turner, Heather Payne, Mike Kirby

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. ., Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK., Barts Health Hospitals, London, UK., Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland, UK., Barts Health Hospitals, London, UK., University College Hospital, London, UK., University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK.

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