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October 28, 1983

New prostate cancer drugs: few CV effects?

JAMA. 1983;250(16):2097-2099. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340160005003

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Encouraging alternative approaches to orchiectomy and estrogen therapy for advanced prostatic cancer were highlighted in a series of presentations at the recent XIIIth International Congress of Chemotherapy in Vienna. Among the most prevalent malignant neoplasms worldwide, prostate cancer may be difficult to treat because it has often metastasized to bone and other organs by the time of diagnosis.

One new investigational approach involves the use of synthetic analogs of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), while the other employs drugs designed to destroy prostatic tumor tissue selectively.

Most of the synthetic GnRH agents now under study result from substitution of a different amino acid in the 6 position of the naturally occurring GnRH decapeptide. Unlike natural GnRH, which is released in pulsatile fashion from the hypothalamus and acts through the pituitary to ultimately stimulate testosterone production by the gonads, the synthetic agonists apparently occupy the pituitary GnRH receptors continuously, desensitizing them and thereby