There has been some surprising and unexpected news recently reported by John’s Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Testosterone, which is believed to be a feeder of prostate cancer has been found to also suppress some advanced prostate cancers and also may reverse resistance the to the testosterone-blocking drugs (ADT) used to treat advanced prostate cancer.

The small study led by Samuel Denmeade, M.D. looked at just16 men with metastatic prostate cancer and so it is still very early for us to make any judgments about the efficacy of these findings for clinical use.

In the normal course of treatment when men are believed to have developed metastatic prostate cancer they are put on hormone suppressive treatment (ADT). Eventually these ADT drugs stop working, the cancer becomes resistant and despite a man being castrate the cancer again begins to progress. At this time men are usually switched to some of the newer ADT type drugs (Xtandi or Zytiga)

According to Denmeade the ADT drugs may make prostate cancer more aggressive over time by enabling prostate cancer cells to subvert attempts to block testosterone receptors. Many men on these drugs experience harsh side effects, including impotence, weigh