Prostate Cancer Drugs – The Lists, Benefits and Side Effects

This article describes you about some prostate cancer drugs that are used in general. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the next stage could be very confusing. Your oncologist might begin you on hormone therapy, either before or after surgery or radiotherapy – or as your only treatment. There are a number of kinds of hormonal therapy, in addition to other drugs that you will hear mentioned in the course of treatment.

The proper treatment for prostate cancer is not obvious. Treatment alternatives are at variance based on the stage of the tumor. In the early stages, consult to your doctor concerning some alternatives including surgery, radiation therapy, or, in older patients, monitoring the cancer with no active treatment.

In addition, your treatment alternatives depend on some factors, like how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread, your overall health, and also the benefits and the likely side effects of the treatment.
Prostate cancer that has spread might be treated with drugs to decrease testosterone levels, surgery to remove the testes, or chemotherapy. Surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy could interfere with sexual desire or performance on either a temporary or permanent basis. Make a discussion of your concerns with your health care provider.

Chemotherapy is frequently utilized to treat cancers of prostate that are resistant to hormonal treatments. An oncology specialist will typically advise a single drug or a combination of drugs. Chemotherapy medications that could be applied to treat prostate cancer include: Adriamycin, Docetaxel, Estramustine, Mitoxantrone, Paclitaxel and Prednisone.

After the first round of chemotherapy, the majority men get further doses on an outpatient basis at a clinic or physician’s office. Side effects rely on the drug, how frequently you take it, and for how long. A number of the side effects for the most generally used prostate cancer chemotherapy drugs include: blood clots, bruising, dry skin, fatigue; fluid retention; hair loss; lowering of your white cells, red cells, or platelets; mouth sores; nausea; tingling or numbness in hands and feet; upset stomach; and weight gain.

As concerns prostate cancer drugs, chemotherapy makes use of drugs to kill quickly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy could be administered by means of a vein in your arm, in pill form or both. It may be a treatment choice for men with the cancer that has extended to distant parts of their bodies. Chemotherapy might also be an alternative for cancers that don’t respond to hormone therapy. Doctors are studying whether chemotherapy is supportive when combined with surgery or radiation therapy.

Cancer Drug Treatment – PARP Inhibitors

Very soon an universal drug to treat all type of cancerous tumors may be developed. Scientists have claimed a breakthrough in turning a breast cancer to a medicine that treat all types of cancerous tumors. The focus is on cancer drug therapy based on class of pharmaceuticals called PARP inhibitors. PARP stands for Poly ADP ribose polymerase is a protein molecule which plays an active role in various cellular processes, DNA repair and programmed cell death. PARP inhibitors are particularly effective in treating hereditary breast cancers. PARP inhibitors have the ability to zero in on rouge cells and tumors and kill them selectively without harming the healthy cells. This also means that the side effects that is normally associated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy is very minimal with this type of pharmaceuticals.

In those prone to or with hereditary form of breast cancer there is mutation or flaw in the genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. BRCA1 is a gene that produces a type of proteins called breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein. They are normally expressed in the cells of breast and some other organs. Whenever there is a damage to DNA of the cells in these organs BRCA1 immediately repairs this DNA damage or if it cannot be repaired it kills the cells. Thus cancerous tumors are killed at the very early stage itself. The function of BRCA2 gene too is more or less similar though the molecular structure is different. BRCA2 stands for Breast Cancer 2 susceptibility protein. It’s main function is to repair the chromosomal damage and fix the breaks in the DNA structure. Thus it can be seen that proper functioning of these two genes are very important to protect us against breast cancer. Whenever there is a flaw in these two genes which is mainly due to hereditary reasons the person is at a huge risk of contracting breast cancer.

In breast cancer tumors with BRCA mutation drugs that inhibit Poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors cause double strand break in the cells. Because of BRCA deficiency these cannot be repaired. This leads to the death of cancerous cells. Normal cells do not replicate the way cancer cells do so the normal cells are not affected by PARP inhibitors.

The same principle is applied by scientists to use PARP inhibitors to treat tumors which do not have this genetic flaw but by artificially inducing such a genetic flaw. CDK1 or Cyclin dependent kinase 1 is a protein that is very vital in maintaining normal cell cycle process. It repairs any damage to the DNA of the cells. By blocking the CDK1 molecule the tumors are deprived of the DNA repair mechanism. When the subject is given PARP inhibitors the cancerous tumor was successfully shrunk. Scientists have effectively treated lung cancer in rats using this method.

Cancer Drugs That Treat Diabetes

Researchers have reported that Gleevec, a wonder drug that has effectively treated leukemia and other cancers, may reverse Type 1 Diabetes too. These experiments were conducted on mice and it has been observed that not only did it prevent and cure diabetes, but also led to long term remission of diabetes even after discontinuation of therapy.

The cancer drugs like Geevec treat cancer by inhibiting a small subset of tyrosine kinases, which are enzymes that modify cells signalling protein through biochemical change. Kinases are therefore agents of proliferation that cause inflammation and cancer.

Since type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response which destorys insulin secreting cells in pancreas, the scientists sought to determine if one or more of the tyrosine kinases blocked by the cancer drugs might also be responsible for the destructive inflammation in the pancreas. If so, the drugs might be a promising discovery to treat diabetes.

This is an encouraging sign since this new class of compounds may modulate auto immunity. It is a potentially good discovery since it has been observed that with other diabetes reversing drugs, when the drug is stopped the disease comes back immediately. On the other hand it has been observed that in case of cancer drugs prolonged remission of diabetes occurs even after the drug is discontinued.

The only thing that is working against this drug is that its potential safety is still unknown. Another drug called Rituxan was designed to wipe out immune cells called B lymphocytes. These cells multiply out of control and result into lymphoma. They are also known to destroy insulin producing cells.

When Rituxan is administered to a patient it makes body produce more insulin initially.However it was observed that over a period as the effects of the drug faded, the insulin production begin to decline. Thus cancers drugs may spell good news for diabetics, but more research is needed.