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Leuprorelin Acetate in Prostate Cancer: a European Update

Journal für Urologie und Urogynäkologie 2002; 9 (Sonderheft 3) (Ausgabe für Österreich): 16-26

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Keywords: AndrologieLeuprorelinacetatOnkologieProstatakarzinomUrologie

This review provides an update on leuprorelin acetate, the world's most widely prescribed depot luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue. Leuprorelin acetate has been in clinical use in the palliative treatment of prostate cancer for more than 20 years, but advances continue to be made in terms of convenience and flexibility of administration, and in the incorporation of leuprorelin acetate into novel treatment regimens. The drug is administered in the form of a depot injection containing leuprorelin acetate microspheres, and is at least as effective in suppressing testosterone secretion as orchiectomy. In patients with prostate cancer, serum testosterone levels are reduced to castrate levels (= 50 ng/dl) within 2-3 weeks of the first one-month depot injection of 3.75 mg or three-month depot injection of 11.25 mg. Both the one-month and three-month formulations are effective in delaying tumour progression and alleviating symptoms of locally advanced and metastatic prostate cancer. Tolerability is generally good, with side-effects reflecting effective testosterone suppression. Recent studies have investigated the place of leuprorelin acetate as part of continuous or intermittent maximal androgen blockade (MAB) and in neoadjuvant therapy (ie, to reduce the size of the prostate and downsize the tumour before radiotherapy). Additional formulations and presentations are in development, including a six-month injection, with the aim of adding to the clinical flexibility and patient acceptability of this important palliative treatment for prostate cancer.
 
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