The Problem with Hormone Therapy
Unfortunately, for many prostate cancer patients, hormone therapy will eventually stop working.
One reason for this is the androgen receptor itself changes, so that the part that normally attaches to the hormone is missing. There’s nowhere for the hormone therapy to stick to, and so the receptor is always switched on. Therefore, messages telling the cancer cell to grow, and divide continue to be sent. These forms of the androgen receptor are known as androgen receptor variants or ARVs. ARVs are found in around 70-80% of advanced prostate cancer patients.
At the moment, we don’t know how ARVs are made. Therefore, we don’t know how we can stop this process and keep hormone therapy working for prostate cancer patients.