Advertisement

How do LHRH injections help treat prostate cancer?

Dr. Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematologist & Oncologist

In the treatment of prostate cancer, the injected luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists inhibit the production of luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland. Because luteinizing hormone stimulates testosterone secretion in the testicles, inhibiting it lowers testosterone levels. LHRH agonists are injected into muscle or fat tissue under the skin. The first LHRH agonists were self-injected on a daily basis by patients. Today, formulations are available that can be implanted under the skin to provide extended release of the medication for anywhere from a month to a year.

In prostate cancer hormone therapy, injections of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists flood the pituitary gland with messages to crank out luteinizing hormone (LH). This causes a temporary surge of testosterone until receptors in the pituitary are overloaded. Then testosterone levels drop sharply.

The side effects of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists (goserelin [Zoladex], histrelin [Vantas], leuprolide [Lupron Depot], triptorelin [Trelstar]) used in the treatment of prostate cancer include:

  • hot flashes
  • impotence
  • decreased libido
  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • anemia
  • osteoporosis

Continue Learning about Prostate Cancer Treatment

Double-Punch Treatment Best for Prostate Cancer
Double-Punch Treatment Best for Prostate Cancer
Love him or hate him, the fact is that heavyweight champ Mike Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts with knockouts—12 of them in the first round—b...
Read More
What is 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) for prostate cancer?
Marc B. Garnick, MDMarc B. Garnick, MD
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) in the treatment of prostate cancer is ideal ...
More Answers
What are surgical treatments for prostate cancer?
Dr. Basir U. Tareen, MDDr. Basir U. Tareen, MD
"Surgery" typically refers to removal of the prostate. This can be done through a traditional open a...
More Answers
Can Grape Seed Extract Help Treat Prostate Cancer?
Can Grape Seed Extract Help Treat Prostate Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.