Medications for Prostate Cancer
Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other medications for prostate cancer are systemic, meaning they circulate throughout the body attacking cancer cells. In addition to standard systemic therapies, medical oncologists (cancer specialists) at Maimonides Prostate Center use innovative approaches to treat prostate cancer.
Systemic Therapies for Prostate Cancer
Your doctor may recommend systemic therapy if prostate cancer has spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body. Systemic therapy is sometimes combined with other prostate cancer treatments.
Our team of experts works together to select the best treatment for your specific needs. We offer:
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer reduces production of testosterone, a male sex hormone that fuels cancer cell growth. ADT lowers testosterone as much as surgically removing the testicles. It can shrink or slow tumor growth even when cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland.
Over time, some tumors stop responding to ADT. This condition is called castration-resistant prostate cancer. Treatment includes anti-androgen medications. These drugs prevent testosterone from binding to androgen receptors that stimulate cancer cell growth.
Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy if prostate cancer doesn’t respond to hormone therapy and spreads outside of the prostate. Chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells and stop them from multiplying. For your comfort, you may choose to receive intravenous (IV) chemotherapy in a private infusion room at Maimonides.
We offer an innovative immunotherapy for metastatic prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy. This personalized treatment removes white blood cells and trains them to recognize and fight cancer cells. The modified cells are then returned intravenously to the bloodstream, where they seek out and destroy cancer cells.
Systemic Therapy Side Effects
Like other therapies, medications can cause prostate cancer treatment side effects. Possible effects depend on the systemic therapy used and may include:
- ADT: Erectile dysfunction, reduced sexual desire, hot flashes, weight gain, breast enlargement, fatigue, low red blood cell count (anemia) and bone loss (osteoporosis)
- Chemotherapy: Infertility, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores and anemia
- Immunotherapy: Nausea, fever, chills, muscle and bone aches, and fatigue
To make an appointment at the Maimonides Prostate Center, call 718-635-PROS (7767) or request an appointment online.