The therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer and other sex-steroid-dependent tumors based on agonists of LH-RH has been made more practical and efficacious by the development of a long-acting formulation of microcapsules of D-Trp-6-LH-RH for controlled release. Antiandrogens, which neutralize the effect of endogenous androgens, have been used also in the management of prostate cancer in man. The effects of a simultaneous administration of the antiandrogen flutamide and microcapsules of the agonist D-Trp-6-LH-RH were studied in the Dunning R-3327H rat prostate adenocarcinoma model to determine whether the combination of these two drugs might inhibit tumor growth more effectively than single agents. Microcapsules of D-Trp-6-LH-RH, calculated to release a controlled dose of 25 μg/day for a period of 30 days were injected intramuscularly once a month. Flutamide was administered SC at a daily dose of 25 mg/kg. The therapy was started 100 days after the tumor transplantation and continued for 60 days. Tumor weights and volumes were significantly reduced in rats treated with microcapsules or flutamide alone, but the former drug inhibited tumor growth more than the latter. The combined treatment of flutamide and microcapsules significantly decreased tumor weight and volume, but did not exert a synergistic effect on tumor growth, the reduction being smaller for the combination than for the microcapsules alone. There was a significant elevation of serum testosterone, LH, and prolactin in rats treated with flutamide. On the other hand, in rats given microcapsules of D-Trp-6-LH-RH, testosterone fell to castration levels within 7 days and remained at nondetectable values, serum LH and prolactin levels being also suppressed in this group. The combined administration of microcapsules and flutamide also significantly decreased serum testosterone to nondetectable levels by day 7 and suppressed serum LH and prolactin. Our findings raise doubts of whether the daily administration of the combination of LH-RH agonist with an antiandrogen offers an advantage over the use of microcapsules of an agonist like D-Trp-6-LH-RH alone in the treatment of prostatic carcinoma.
- D‐Trp‐6‐LH‐RH/controlled release of peptide hormones
- combined therapy
- hormonal therapy
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