Hormonal agents alter the internal / extracellular environment. Most agents are cell cycle phase non-specific. Breast, thyroid, prostate and uterine cancers are examples of tumours that are sensitive to hormonal manipulation. With these diseases, the action of hormones or hormone antagonists depends on the presence of hormone receptors in the tumours themselves (i.e. oestrogen receptors in breast cancers). 1, 7, 11 There are individual classifications of hormonal agents:13
- adrenocorticoids, eg. prednisone
- androgens, eg. testosterone propionate
- oestrogens, eg. diethylstilbestrol
- selective oestrogen receptor modulators, eg. tamoxifen citrate
- selective aromatase inhibitors, eg. anastrozole
- progesterones, eg. megestrol acetate
- antitestosterone , eg. flutamide
Major toxicities occur in the gastrointestinal, sexual / reproductive systems and mood and sleep pattern changes.1, 7, 11
Choose one hormonal agent and discuss its:
- Indications in cancer control.
- Mechanism of action.
- Adverse effects.
- Administration considerations.
Next: Factors influencing agent selection and administration