What Is Trelstar®?
As of 2009 over 2 million American men are living with prostate cancer.3 For many of them, surgery or radiation therapy may be enough to treat the disease. Those with more advanced disease may need other kinds of treatment. In these patients, Trelstar is one choice for treatment.
Trelstar is a type of prescription drug called a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist, used for the management of advanced prostate cancer. The goal of treating advanced prostate cancer is to slow down its growth and decrease symptoms.
Testosterone allows for the growth of prostate cancer cells, so decreasing the amount of testosterone in the blood is an effective way to slow down this growth of prostate cancer.7
Lowering Your Testosterone Level
Most prostate cancer cells need male hormones such as testosterone to grow. A way to reduce this growth and the symptoms of prostate cancer is to reduce or remove the testosterone available to these cells.7
The testicles normally make testosterone in response to hormone signals from the pituitary, a small gland at the base of the brain. One way of lowering testosterone is to remove the testicles by surgery (orchiectomy).13 Most men opt to take a drug that lowers testosterone rather than have this surgery.
What Role Does Trelstar Play in This Process?
Trelstar is a type of prescription drug called a GnRH agonist. Trelstar works by telling the pituitary to stop making luteinizing hormone (LH), because it is LH that tells the testes to make testosterone. When you take Trelstar, the amount of LH in your bloodstream goes down, causing the testes to stop making testosterone. The amount of testosterone in your blood falls to a low level.
As you work with your doctor in finding the best treatment for your prostate cancer, you need to understand what happens during your treatment. The following are facts you should know while being treated with Trelstar.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Treatment Summaries for People with Cancer. Prostate Cancer – Overview http://nccn.com/prostate_cancer_overview.aspx. Accessed February 16, 2010
- Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. American Cancer Society.
- Prostate Cancer Foundation. FAQs About Prostate Cancer. http://prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.4983495/k.5C76/About_Prostate_Cancer.htm. Accessed February 16, 2010.
- Zelefsky M, Eastham JA, Sartor O, Kantoff P. Cancer of the Prostate. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. 2008.
- SEER. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/index.html. Accessed December 8, 2010.
- National Cancer Institute. Early Prostate Cancer. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/early-prostate. Accessed February 16, 2010.
- Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer: A Guide for Men and their Families. Prostate Cancer Foundation. 2005. Santa Monica, CA.
- ACS Detailed Guide: Prostate Cancer. Hormone (androgen deprivation) Therapy. www.cancer.org. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- Prostate Cancer Foundation. Risk Factors. http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5802027/k.D271/Prostate_Cancer_Risk_Factors.htm Accessed February 16, 2010.
- ACS Detailed Guide: Prostate Cancer. How Is Prostate Cancer Staged? www.cancer.org. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- ACS Detailed Guide: How is Prostate Cancer Found? www.cancer.org. Accessed March 23, 2010.
- Prostate Cancer Basics. My Cleveland Clinic. http://myclevelandclinic.org/disorders/prostate_cancer/hic_prostate_cancer_basics.aspx. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Treatment Summaries for People with Cancer. Prostate Cancer – Advanced. http://nccn.com/metastatic_prostate_cancer.aspx. Accessed February 18, 2010.
- Trelstar 3.75 mg, 11.25 mg, 22.5 mg [prescribing information]. Morristown, NJ: Watson Pharma, Inc.; 2010.
- ZERO The Project to End Prostate Cancer. http://zerocancer.org/site/PageServer?pagename=APC_Risk_Factors. Accessed February 16, 2010.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Treatment Summaries for People with Cancer. Prostate Cancer–Localized. http://nccn.com/metastatic_prostate_cancer.aspx. Accessed February 24, 2010.
- Netter FH. Atlas of Human Anatomy. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis; 1997. Plate 338.
- ACS Detailed Guide: Prostate Cancer. How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed? www.cancer.org. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- ACS Detailed Guide: Prostate Cancer. Expectant Management (watchful waiting) and active surveillance. www.cancer.org. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- ACS Detailed Guide: Prostate Cancer. Surgery. www.cancer.org. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- ACS Detailed Guide: How is Prostate Cancer Treated?. www.cancer.org. Accessed March 23, 2010
- ACS Detailed Guide: Prostate Cancer. Radiation Therapy. www.cancer.org. Accessed February 25, 2010.
- Firmagon full Prescribing Information. Ferring Pharmaceuticals. 2009.
- MedicineNet. Medical Dictionary. http://medterms.com. Accessed March 23, 2010.
- National Cancer Institute. U. S. National Institutes of Health. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. http://cancer.gov/dictionary. Accessed March 25, 2010.
- The Free Dictionary. Medical Dictionary. http://thefreedictionary.com. Accessed March 23, 2010.
- Data on file. CSR DEB-TRI6M-301. Watson Pharma, Inc.
Trelstar® is indicated for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
Important Safety Information
After your first injection of Trelstar®, you might feel a temporary increase in your cancer symptoms, such as pain in your bones, nerve disorder, blood in your urine, blockage in the canals leaving your bladder, or pressure in the spinal cord that may lead to weakness or paralysis with or without fatal complications. This is because the amount of testosterone in your bloodstream actually goes up for a short period after the injection. If your symptoms increase later than the first week or two following an injection, tell your doctor. The most common side effects that patients taking Trelstar® have are actually the effect of lowering testosterone levels. The most common effect of lowering testosterone is hot flushes or flashes. These are like the hot flashes women have around the time of menopause. Other side effects include bone pain, impotence (sexual side effect), tissue breakdown in the testicles, headache, leg pain, and swelling in the legs. Women who are or may become pregnant and those who are allergic to this type of drug should not take Trelstar®. A severe potentially fatal form of shock, hyper allergic response, and allergic swelling related to Trelstar® have been reported. For more information on these and other side effects, please talk to your doctor.