Your second post is what the drug does in your body. Through the pituitary gland your body is told it has enough testosterone so it shuts down production. And as you said the drugs (LHRH Agonists) do not work at the cellular levels of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer feeds on testosterone in the early stages. LHRH Agonists make testosterone unavailable so once the tumor(s) are deprived of it they either need to learn to survive without it or they begin to shrink. When I asked my oncologist if this kills the cancer he said absolutely ~ but not entirely. This is why hormonal therapies are effective early on but you are not cured.
There is another therapy that many of us took with our LHRH agonists ~ bicalutamide or Casodex. This drug DOES work at the cellular level of prostate cancer. This drug is an antiandrogen. It clings to the testosterone receptors in the cell wall and reduces the ability of the cell to consume testosterone. So Lupron does in fact reduce testosterone but it does not stop it entirely, and Casodex blocks whatever is left behind from being used.
A third agent is sometimes used as well ~ a 5ARI (alpha reductase inhibitor) such as Proscar (finasteride) or Avodart (dutasteride). This when combined with the other two is commonly called ADT3. There has not been any studies completed that show that these are effective against prostate cancer per se but there is compelling evidence that they may be. The 5ARI's can shrink the prostate and it could stand to reason then that they can also reduce prostate cancer.
I hope this helps.
Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7
RALP ~ 2/17/2007 at the City of Hope near Los Angeles.
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.
"I beat up this disease and took its lunch money! I am in remission."
I am currently not being treated, but I do have regular oncology visits.
I am the president of an UsTOO chapter in Las Vegas
Blog : www.caringbridge.org/visit/tonycrispino
Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 11/12/2010 10:40:47 AM (GMT-7)