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Hormonal Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer

David J. Vaughn, MD
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University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center; Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Vaughn)

Requests for Single Reprints: David J. Vaughn, MD, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, 16 Penn Tower, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail, djv@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Requests To Purchase Bulk Reprints (minimum, 100 copies): the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(7):584-585. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-7-200004040-00011
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Decades ago, Nobel Laureate Charles Huggins demonstrated that the growth dependence of normal canine prostate on hormones had significant therapeutic implications for men with prostate cancer (1). Since then, androgen ablation therapy has provided effective palliation for patients with advanced disease. Synthesis of testosterone is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. Testosterone is intracellularly converted to dihydrotestosterone, which binds to the cytoplasmic androgen receptor of the prostate cancer cell. The hormone-receptor complex binds to nuclear DNA, stimulating protein synthesis. The adrenal glands also produce androgens, which contribute to intraprostatic dihydrotestosterone.

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