Understanding the potential of degarelix (and the risks)

A review article and three different sets of editorial comments have just been published in Oncology. They lay out the opinions of several specialists on the potential uses of degarelix — a recently approved, “second-generation” LHRH antagonist — in the management of prostate cancer. All the relevant articles are available in full on line.

Crawford and Hou’s introductory review discusses the clinical trial data leading up to the approval of degarelix and its indication “for treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer.”

Three editorial commentaries then address the current perceptions of the various authors about the utility of degarelix compared to other available therapeutic options:

The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink suspects that it may be too early to make decisions about the real clinical utility of degarelix. Clearly the agent works to rapidly lower testosterone levels in targeted patients. The real issues revolve around its adverse events profile as compared to the adverse events profiles of the LHRH agonists, and it may take some time before we have a “real world” understanding of the risks associated with the use of degarelix — particularly in patients who are on drug for longer than a year. In the meantime, the article and the editorial comments above provide prostate cancer educators and support group leaders with a useful resource that can be used as the basis for discussion about this drug and its potential uses.

The full prescribing information for degarelix is available for US-based patients on the FDA’s web site.

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