Understanding Prostate Cancer

Studies examine why some become untreatable

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THURSDAY, May 15, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Three new University of California-Davis Cancer Center studies try to understand why some prostate cancers become resistant to androgen-suppression therapy.

About 190,000 men in the United States develop prostate cancer each year, and a number of them require androgen-suppression therapy to lower their levels of male hormones. This treatment can shrink or limit the growth of prostate cancers.

However, the treatment eventually fails as prostate cancer cells adapt to an androgen-depleted environment. It's called androgen independence and, when it occurs, there are few remaining treatment options.

The UC Davis studies focused on trying to determine how androgen independence develops and how it can be countered.

"If we could prevent androgen independence from happening, it would have a dramatic impact on treatment and outcomes for prostate cancer," Ralph deVere White, chairman of urology at UC Davis School of Medicine, says in a news release.

The UC-Davis studies were presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Chicago.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: University of California-Davis, news release, April 27, 2003

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