Today, synthetic LH-RH (luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone) agonists (which block the production of testosterone) are the medication mainstay for advanced cancer. Since the 1980s, injectable drugs such as leuprolide acetate and goserelin acetate are administered every three—or even 12—months to shut down testosterone production. In the interim, oral androgen-blocking agents, such as flutamide, boost the overall effect by preventing testosterone from attaching to prostate cells. Together, these medications bring dramatic, even miraculous, improvements to quality of life.
Yet, they aren't a cure. Advanced cancer inevitably returns, causing cancer that had nearly vanished so encouragingly to creep back until improved health becomes fleeting. The cells at fault are other, hormone-resistant, cancer cells, not those responding brilliantly to the therapy.
Some of the most exciting bench-to-bedside research could eliminate advanced prostate cancer. Angiogenesis inhibitors, for instance, hold great promise in starving tumors by cutting off their blood supply. Pioneered by Boston cancer researcher Judah Folkman, this theory is taking hold through the use of statin drugs. Likewise, gene therapy, which utilizes the body's own DNA like