Common Hormonal Treatment for Early Prostate Cancer May Pose Cardiac Risk

I have been on a vacation but am now resuming publishing pertinent posts.

As has been written before, several potential side effects accompany hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. A MedlinePlus e mail received today from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Library of Medicine discussed the potential heart risk posed by early hormone suppression treatment of prostate cancer. The take-home message from a new study is that “patients with localized prostate cancer should be followed to minimize the health effects of androgen-deprivation therapy on the cardiovascular system,” said study author Reina Haque, a researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. The advice given is that “patients should consider heart-healthy lifestyle changes, and physicians should actively monitor the patient’s health for early signs of heart disease.”

In recent years, there’s been an expansion in use of hormone-suppressing treatment for prostate cancer. The treatment was previously restricted to advanced prostate tumors, but now it’s being given to a growing number of men with early stage prostate cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body. However, the safety and effectiveness of androgen-deprivation therapy for these men hasn’t been investigated, the study authors said.

In the new study, researchers assessed outcomes for more than 7,600 men with early stage prostate cancer. The investigators tracked the men for up to 12 years, starting when they were diagnosed between 1998 and 2008. The researchers factored in certain heart risk factors — things such as overweight/obesity, history of smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure or if they required heart medications. The study found the men with early stage prostate cancer who did not already have heart disease, but who received hormone-depleting treatments had an 81 percent higher risk for heart failure. Meanwhile, those who already had heart disease when they received the anti-hormone treatment also had a greater risk for heart rhythm problems, including a 44 percent increased risk of an irregular heartbeat. These men were also three times more likely to develop “conduction disorder,” which occurs when electrical impulses to the heart are interrupted.

The findings allow men with localized prostate cancer to consider the positive and negative effects of androgen-deprivation therapy and discuss it with their physicians. “If they move forward with the therapy, patients should work with their physicians to adjust their lifestyle to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”



Removal of Ipilimumab (Yervoy) in Proposed NCI Clinical Trial Due to Toxicity.

On May 15th, this website posted information about a Phase 1-2 clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The proposed therapeutic regimen initially consisted of the NCI vaccine Prostvac, and two antibodies, ipilimumab (Yervoy®) and nivolumab (Opdivo®). However, toxic events recently surfaced in the use of ipilimumab in several patients necessitating its removal from this particular NCI trial. In addition, a website post dated April 11th, 2017 cited the lack of activity of ipilimumab as a sole agent in prostate cancer clinical trials. However, it was proposed that ipilimumab might be more useful in combination immunotherapy.

Mightier Than All Our Troubles; Never Measure God’s Unlimited Power by Your Limited Expectations.

 Psalm 93 states:

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice;
    the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days.

Iguazu Falls, (see this link) on the border of Brazil and Argentina, is a spectacular waterfall system of 275 falls along 2.7 km (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Etched on a wall on the Brazilian side of the Falls are the words of Psalm 93:4, “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!” Below it are these words, “God is always greater than all of our troubles.”

The writer of Psalm 93, who penned its words during the time that kings reigned, knew that God is the ultimate King over all. “The Lord reigns,” he wrote. “Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity” (vv. 1–2). No matter how high the floods or waves, the Lord remains greater than them all.

The roar of a waterfall is truly majestic, but it is quite a different matter to be in the water hurtling toward the falls. That may be the situation you are in today. Physical, financial, or relational problems loom ever larger and you feel like you are about to go over the falls. In such situations, the Christian has Someone to turn to. He is the Lord, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20) for He is greater than all our troubles. You can pray “Lord, I know that You are powerful and greater than any trouble that might come my way. I trust You to carry me through.”

Never measure God’s unlimited power by your limited expectations.

Are there areas in your life that feel out of control? If so, you’re in good company. So many of the psalms were inspired by desperate feelings of fear and confusion. Yet they ended up as songs of hope in the God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. But who is this God? The author of Psalm 93 identifies Him as the Lord (Yahweh). By contrast to legendary gods of war, fertility, weather, travel, or the hunt, He is the God who created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 2:4).

Consider the implications of such a Creator. Use the measure of modern astronomy. What kind of God speaks into existence billions of galaxies filled with trillions of suns far greater than our own? Yet even the cosmos is not the measure of His greatness. According to the New Testament (John 1:1–3, 14), the God of the Bible is the Lord who, in Jesus, showed that He is greater than our troubles by bearing our sins and diseases. In the weakness of His crucifixion and by the power of His resurrection, He showed that even His love for us is greater than our sin and life’s troubles whatever they may be. For information of how to have a personal relationship with such a Creator, see the following link.

 The above was an excerpt from Our Daily Bread Devotional of July 19th, 2017, published by RBC Ministries.