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Prostate Cancer
Treatment Guide™

Prostate Cancer Glossary



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Biological Half-life in Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy

Biological half-life measures the speed at which a biological material is metabolized or eliminated from an organism’s body. Half-life measures how long exactly half of an agent takes to decay. If the biological half-life of substance X is 2 days, after two days, only 1/2 of the original amount will be left. After another 2 days, only 1/2 of that half will remain, or 1/4 of the original amount, and so on until the material has been completely eliminated. In prostate cancer treatments using hormone therapy, LHRH agonist occupy receptors in the brain normally occupied by normal LHRH. Because LHRH mimics LHRH, the body begins mass producing testosterone in a phenomenon called hormone flare that last 7 to 10 days. After the hormone flare, however, the testosterone level will drop to castrate level because the LHRH agonist has a longer biological half-life than LHRH. The agonist will continually occupy these receptors until the prostate cancer treatment is stopped.



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