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Prostate Cancer
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Pituitary Gland in Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy

The pituitary gland is at the base of the brain in vertebrates and controls the endocrine system, which produces hormones. During the synthesis of testosterone, the pituitary gland receives luteinizing hormone releasing hormone or gonadotropin releasing hormone from the hypothalamus, which monitors the body’s testosterone. In response to the hypothalamus’s signal, the pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone or gonadotropin. Luteinizing hormone or gonadotropin travels to the testicles and incites the production of testosterone. During prostate cancer hormone therapy, a LHRH or GnRH antagonist fills the pituitary glands receptors and prevents the pituitary gland from ever receiving the message from the hypothalamus. The LHRH agonist that is also used in prostate cancer hormone therapy fills in receptors, but incites a mass production of testosterone, which results in hormone flare. Due to the long biological half life of this agonist, however, after 7 to 10 days, the flare subsides and the body’s testosterone levels drop to castrate level.


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