Somastatin is a naturally occurring hormone that affects the levels of other hormone production in the body. Its most common drug use today is to treat giantism and acromegaley, a disease characterized by an over abundance of growth hormones.
There is laboratory evidence that somastatin analogs such as octreotide acetate (Sandostatin/Sandoz) can affect the growth of prostate cancer by regulating the insulin like growth factor IGF1. IGF1 plays a major role in prostate cancer biology, especially in the area of resistance to hormone therapy as well as resistance to radiation and chemotherapy.
There are major studies on-going at the Department of Urology at the University of Athens using Somastatin like drugs along with dexamethasone . There preliminary results have been very promising while the reported side effects have been very mild, usually limited to some mild abdominal and gastrointestinal effects.
Some researchers have put forth the theory that by controlling IGF1, hormone resistance might be reversed.
Although still experimental, Somastatin shows great promise both as a possible second line hormone therapy as well as a possible chemotherapy type treatment that could offer very significant results for men with advanced prostate cancer.
Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.
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