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Effectiveness of 'hormone holidays'?

User
Posted 12 Dec 2020 at 16:24

Hi again,

Just pondering....is there evidence to show that stopping hormone therapy for a short time and re starting can be quite useful in staving off PCA growth?

I'm sure I read somewhere that by allowing a testosterone 'flood' then killing off the testosterone again can be quite effective...or is that a dangerous approach? 

Any thoughts/ any one had experience of hormone holidays and the idea behind it? 

Thanks all 

'Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up'
User
Posted 12 Dec 2020 at 20:06
I was told if I start HT then it would now be for life — yet I’m further on from you I guess. I was also told that just one 3 month injection could take up to 8 months to recover from , so stopping it would likely be worthless re recovering from side effects.

There was a lovely guy on here called Simon ( Si-Ness ) who trialled T flooding via injection and then starving , but it didn’t work well and sadly he is no longer with us :-(

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 13:20
The aforementioned George does look in now and again and IHT does not seem to have shortened his life. But sadly Barry Top Gun who I met and communicated with on several occasions, did not do well on it for any great length before his passing. The RT he had had worked well for at least a decade before his cancer 'woke up' and advanced relatively fast so he adopted the IHT regime. One of the problems with PCa is that what works for one person might not necessarily work for another in terms of affecting lifespan but having respite from HT can give a man a holiday from the severe affects of HT that some men suffer to a greater extent than others. One can give it a try but I would suggest in close collaboration with your consultant.
Barry
User
Posted 14 Dec 2020 at 08:11
My Husband had intermitent HT from 2 years after RT in 2006 until feb 2017 when he had to go on to it permanantly , he is now on it for life ,was told by his oncologist when he was on intermitent that this would make the HT work for longer, and that does seem to have worked for him.

regards Barbara

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User
Posted 12 Dec 2020 at 20:06
I was told if I start HT then it would now be for life — yet I’m further on from you I guess. I was also told that just one 3 month injection could take up to 8 months to recover from , so stopping it would likely be worthless re recovering from side effects.

There was a lovely guy on here called Simon ( Si-Ness ) who trialled T flooding via injection and then starving , but it didn’t work well and sadly he is no longer with us :-(

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 12 Dec 2020 at 22:07
There is intermittent hormone therapy - there is some science to the idea that stopping and starting delays the point at which the cancer becomes castrate resistant. However, to be suitable for IHT, the generally accepted baseline is at least 2 years of stable PSA below 0.2 (if the prostate has been removed already) or below 1.0 if there is still a prostate. As CJ says, flooding is really untested and didn't go well for Si.

Two examples on here are George_H and TopGun

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 08:13

Thanks Lyn, yes that's what I heard... It's an interesting idea. Not if it doesn't work though! 

Hope all.is good with you x

'Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up'
User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 10:19

One of our urologists at The FOPS has commented a few times that those on IHT mostly manage to spend more time off it than on it, but that depends on your specific disease. I think it's mostly looked on as a QoL improvement which it thought not to cause a reduction in lifespan if used correctly. Any suggestions it might lengthen lifespan are still weak I think.

User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 10:34

Thank you for this Andy. I see what you mean... So it's used as a way of relieving someone of side effect symptoms, and will not necessarily shorten life, but is not used to lengthen it.... I see what you mean. Thanks x

'Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up'
User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 13:20
The aforementioned George does look in now and again and IHT does not seem to have shortened his life. But sadly Barry Top Gun who I met and communicated with on several occasions, did not do well on it for any great length before his passing. The RT he had had worked well for at least a decade before his cancer 'woke up' and advanced relatively fast so he adopted the IHT regime. One of the problems with PCa is that what works for one person might not necessarily work for another in terms of affecting lifespan but having respite from HT can give a man a holiday from the severe affects of HT that some men suffer to a greater extent than others. One can give it a try but I would suggest in close collaboration with your consultant.
Barry
User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 14:40

I'm so sorry to hear about Topgun Barry.

Yes this is the weird thing with this cancer, it acts totally differently in different men. 

I still think it's outrageous that men over 40 don't have routine PSA Tests...I know there are arguments against, but us women seem to have much better screening than you guys. 

'Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up'
User
Posted 13 Dec 2020 at 20:47

My late husband did have a hormone holiday early on and it enabled us to have a normal married life for a while which was beneficial to us both but it wasn't possible to repeat it. Everybody is different.

User
Posted 14 Dec 2020 at 08:11
My Husband had intermitent HT from 2 years after RT in 2006 until feb 2017 when he had to go on to it permanantly , he is now on it for life ,was told by his oncologist when he was on intermitent that this would make the HT work for longer, and that does seem to have worked for him.

regards Barbara

User
Posted 14 Dec 2020 at 08:37
Top Gun's threads are worth reading if you can find them with this dreadful search function; he was a strong advocate of IHT and I think he would differ from Old Barry's view that it wasn't successful... his experience was that libido and erectile function recovered quite quickly each time and gave him and his wife periods of good quality of life. Whether it extended the time that HT was effective we will never know but his tag line was 'life is for the living' and he certainly appreciated his onco's support for trying IHT.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 14 Dec 2020 at 14:10
I was not meaning that IHT was unsuccessful in giving TopGun some relief and helping him live the way he wanted because it worked for him in this sense. However, it did not work for a great length of time and as those familiar with his case will recall, he suffered badly towards the end and the strategy was not successful in the sense that it did not prevent this.
Barry
User
Posted 15 Dec 2020 at 02:48

I suppose success when it comes to PCa strategy is a relative term. George was/has been on IHT for a very long time, whereas Barry Newman, (Top Gun), had about 4 years after starting it. Barry admits he went against what his onco suggested with his timing on occasion. One point of interest in this sad story was that his PSA on16th May 2014 was down to 0.27, the lowest it had been for a very long time, yet as he said,with spread everywhere, which shows that you cannot always rely on PSA being an indicator of spread.
As Lyn says, his threads and also his profile are worth reading:- https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/default.aspx?g=profile&u=3252

 

 

 

 

Edited by member 15 Dec 2020 at 02:50  | Reason: to highlight link

Barry
 
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