Prostate cancer treatment may affect kidney

According to a recent study prostate cancer hormone treatment dramatically increases a mans risk for kidney failure. The use of androgen deprivation therapy was linked to a 250 percent increase in a man’s possibility of suffering kidney injury, this was found by Canadian researchers in a review of more than 10,000 men receiving hormonal treatment for early stage prostate cancer.

Androgen deprivation therapy involves the use of medication or surgery to reduce the amount of male hormones in a man’s body, which can cause prostate cancer cells to shrink or grow slowly. Androgen deprivation¬†therapy is usually reserved for advanced cases of prostate cancer . Previous research had already linked androgen deprivation therapy to a increased risk of heart attack.

After these new findings tying hormone therapy to acute kidney injury — a rapid loss of kidney function with a 50 percent mortality rate — should prompt doctors to think twice before using androgen deprivation therapy to treat prostate cancer patients at little risk of dying from the disease, said Azoulay, also an assistant professor in McGill University’s department of oncology.

“There is a big debate over who should receive androgen deprivation therapy, and the timing of use,” he said. “In patients whose prostate cancer has spread, the benefits outweigh the risk, but now there’s this jump to using [androgen deprivation therapy] in patients who would not typically die from prostate cancer. In that subgroup of patients, the risks might outweigh the benefit.”

“Testosterone and estrogen have been shown to play an important role in renal [kidney] function,” he said. “It seems that testosterone has vessel-dilating effects, and estrogen has a protective effect against renal injury.”

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