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article imageSkin patch developed for prostate cancer

By Tim Sandle     Mar 7, 2013 in Health
A skin patch is being delivered to delivery hormones into the body of men with prostate cancer. Researchers suggest that this is a more effective means than a course of tablets.
The research suggests that delivering estrogen (female sex hormones) through skin patches may offer a safer and easier way to treat prostate cancer in men compared with current hormone therapies.
The study, as the research brief outlines, showed that finds that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) patches normally given to women to treat symptoms of menopause, lowered testosterone in men with prostate cancer to the same extent as equivalent injections or a course of tablets
The reason for using estrogen to lower testosterone is because medical findings suggest that testosterone can speed up the spread of prostate cancer, once the cancerous cells have appeared. Treatments that reduce levels of testosterone in advanced prostate cancer can slow tumor growth and sometimes shrink it.
For the trial, BBC News summarizes, researchers compared treatment using standard treatment to that of using estrogen skin patches in 254 men with prostate cancer that was either locally advanced or had spread. The results showed that the patches appeared to block testosterone production as effectively as the current methods.
The reason that researchers are looking for an alternative to consuming hormone tablets is because the tablets required can have side effects, including osteoporosis, bone fractures and diabetes. The study suggests when delivered via skin patch, estrogen does not cause the same degree of heart and blood clotting problems in prostate cancer, according to Simply Health.
The video below highlights some of the research:
The research was conducted by Cancer Research UK and led by researchers at Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Unit in London. The findings have been published in the medical journal Lancet Oncology.
More about Cancer, Prostrate cancer, skin patch, Drug delivery, Vaccine
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