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1.  Efficacy and safety of leuprolide acetate 6-month depot for suppression of testosterone in patients with prostate cancer 
This open-label study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a new leuprolide acetate 45 mg 6-month depot formulation in 151 men with prostate cancer who received 2 intramuscular injections administered 24 weeks apart.
The primary efficacy measurement was the proportion of patients achieving suppression of serum testosterone to ⩽50 ng dl−1 from week 4 through week 48. Adverse events (AEs) and hormonal and safety laboratory values were monitored.
The primary efficacy end point was achieved in 93.4% of subjects (95% confidence interval (89.2%, 97.6%)). There were nine escapes from testosterone suppression during the study, none of which were accompanied by a rise in PSA. By week 4, mean testosterone concentration was suppressed below castrate levels to 15.9 ng dl−1; suppression was maintained for the entire 24-week duration of each depot injection. No mean increase in testosterone was observed after the second injection. Mean PSA levels were maintained below 3 ng ml−1 from week 14 through the 48-week treatment period. The most frequent AE was flushing (58.3%). Injection site reactions were reported in 24.5% of patients.
Leuprolide acetate 45 mg 6-month depot demonstrated rapid and sustained testosterone suppression through 12 months and was well tolerated. This 6-month leuprolide acetate depot will decrease the number of annual injections in the treatment of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3278745  PMID: 22025196
leuprolide acetate; gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog; testosterone; PSA; LH-RH
2.  Leuprolide acetate 1-, 3- and 6-monthly depot formulations in androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer in nine European countries: evidence review and economic evaluation 
Leuprolide is an established luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist used as first-line treatment in advanced prostate cancer. As different formulations and dosing schedules are likely to have economic implications, we aimed to evaluate their efficacy, safety, and costs in nine European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.
Database searches identified 13 clinical trials of leuprolide 1- (1 M), 3- (3 M) and 6-monthly (6 M). Only data on leuprolide with Atrigel were compared for all three formulations, which had the same efficacy, safety, and adherence. Cost-minimization analysis accounting for cost of Eligard®, specialist consultations, and diagnostics during up to 12 months follow-up was conducted. The perspective was that of public payers.
No significant differences were observed in the percentages of intention-to-treat patients achieving testosterone levels ≤ 50 ng/dL following treatment with Eligard® 1 M (93.3%), 3 M (98.3%), and 6 M (97.3%) (P > 0.05), and adverse event profiles of the three formulations were comparable. Overall, 6 M was the least expensive, with average total annual costs from €788 (Belgium) to €1839 (Portugal). The 3 M option was between 2.5% (Hungary) and 37.6% (Belgium) more expensive than 6 M; 1 M formulation was the most expensive, with costs 15.5% and 151.6% more expensive than 6 M for those countries, respectively. The 3 M option was 11.2%–45.3% less expensive than 1 M. Total costs were associated with frequency of visits for injection and monitoring. The 1 M required twelve visits, 3 M 4.4–4.8 visits, and 6 M 2.1–2.3 visits. Up to 50% additional visits could be funded with the savings resulting from switching eligible patients from 1 M and 3 M to 6 M. Results were stable in univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
Eligard® formulations offer comparable efficacy and safety, but different dosing schedules require different number of visits. The 6 M formulation offers the greatest cost savings and should be considered the treatment of choice in eligible patients in Europe.
PMCID: PMC3699057  PMID: 23836996
prostate; cancer; androgen; leuprolide; Eligard; cost-effectiveness
3.  Efficacy and tolerability of 1- and 3-month leuprorelin acetate depot formulations (Eligard®/Depo-Eligard®) for advanced prostate cancer in daily practice: a Belgian prospective non-interventional study 
Archives of Medical Science : AMS  2014;10(3):477-483.
The 1-, 3- and 6- month biodegradable polymer matrix depot formulations of leuprorelin acetate (Eligard®/Depo-Eligard®, Astellas Pharma Inc/BV) were shown to reduce testosterone and prostate-specific antigen levels and to be well tolerated in patients with advanced prostate cancer in several clinical trials. This study aimed at evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of the 1- and 3-month leuprorelin acetate depot formulations in daily clinical practice.
Material and methods
A prospective, open-label, non-interventional, phase IV study (MANTA) was conducted in 243 Belgian prostate cancer patients who had been prescribed the 1-month (7.5 mg) or 3-month (22.5 mg) leuprorelin acetate depot formulation. Patients were followed for at least 3 months.
Median serum prostate-specific antigen levels were reduced by 95% from 12.0 ng/ml at baseline to 0.60 ng/ml after a median follow-up time of 132 days, while median testosterone levels were reduced by 94% from 360 ng/dl to 20 ng/dl. Partial or complete treatment response was observed in 83% of patients at the final visit (according to the physician's assessment). Ninety-two patients (37.86%) experienced treatment-emergent adverse events, with injection site-related reactions, hot flushes and tumor flare being the most common ones. Overall safety and tolerability of the leuprorelin acetate depot formulation were rated as good or excellent by 90% of physicians.
These data are consistent with efficacy and tolerability results from clinical trials. They confirm that the 1- and 3-month leuprorelin acetate depot formulations are well tolerated and reliably lower serum prostate-specific antigen and testosterone levels in routine clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4107255  PMID: 25097577
leuprolide; physician's practice patterns; prospective studies; prostatic neoplasms; treatment outcome
4.  Degarelix and its therapeutic potential in the treatment of prostate cancer 
Degarelix is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer in whom hormonal therapy is indicated. Two phase II trials and one phase III have been published as full papers in the literature. In the dose-finding phase II studies an initial dose of 240 mg degarelix sc followed by a monthly injection of 80 mg or 160 mg degarelix sc was sufficient to keep testosterone levels ≤ 0.5 ng/ml. In a phase III trial it was demonstrated that degarelix was not inferior (in terms of testosterone suppression and prostate-specific antigen [PSA] decline) compared to standard hormonal therapy, ie, a GnRH agonist such as leuprolide. In fact, degarelix was associated with a faster testosterone suppression and PSA decline than leuprolide. Adverse events such as injection site reactions (40% vs <1%) and chills (4% vs 0%) were more commonly associated with degarelix. Also, degarelix is currently only available as one-month depot whereas in daily practice three-month depots (of GnRH agonists) are the preferred regimen. However, degarelix was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC2685243  PMID: 19503784
prostate cancer; hormonal therapy; GnRH antagonist; degarelix; testosterone; flare
5.  Six-month gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist depots provide efficacy, safety, convenience, and comfort 
Two different 6-month GnRH agonist depot formulations approved for palliative treatment of advanced and metastatic prostate cancer in the United States – leuprolide acetate 45 mg and triptorelin pamoate 22.5 mg – provide patients with efficacy and safety comparable to those of existing 1-, 3-, and 4-month GnRH agonist depots. However, the 6-month formulations can increase patient convenience, comfort, and compliance by reducing the number of physician visits and injections required. At the conclusion of their pivotal trials, the 6-month formulations demonstrated efficacy rates in achieving chemical castration (serum testosterone ≤50 ng/dL) that ranged between 93% and 99%. As with existing GnRH agonist depot formulations, hot flashes represented the most common adverse event reported in trials of 6-month leuprolide acetate or triptorelin. As such, these products may prove useful not only for their labeled indication, but also as adjuncts to other treatments such as radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. We recommend further research, including head-to-head trials between the 6-month GnRH depots, to refine our understanding of these products.
PMCID: PMC3154964  PMID: 21847353
prostate cancer; leuprorelin; leuprolide; triptorelin; 6-month depot; testosterone
6.  Sustained activity and release of leuprolide acetate from an in situ forming polymeric implant 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2000;1(1):1-8.
The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of drug loading on the release of leuprolide acetate from an injectable polymeric implant, formed in situ, and efficacy of the released drug in suppressing serum testosterone levels in dogs for at least 90 days. An additional objective was to compare the optimum implant formulation with commercial microsphere product. Evaluated implant formulations contained 45% w/w 75/25 poly (DL-lactide-coglycolide) polymer having an intrinsic viscosity of 0.20 dL/g, dissolved in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. Irradiated polymer solution was mixed with leuprolide at different drug loads (3%, 4.5% and 6% w/w) prior to subcutaneous administration to dogs. Dog serum was analyzed for testosterone (RIA) and leuprolide (LC/MS/MS) levels and comparisons within the three implant formulation groups were made. Varying the drug load did not significantly affect the release of leuprolide or efficacy of the implant formulation. Thus, the 6% w/w formulation with the smaller injection volume was selected for comparison with the commercial LUPRON® Depot product, which was administered intramuscularly at a similar dosage. These comparisons of serum testosterone and leuprolide levels showed no significant difference in the pharmacologic efficacy even though drug levels were different at a number of points. This was mainly due to associated high standard deviations. Based on these studies, the 6% w/w leuprolide implant formulation was considered to be a suitable candidate for further development. Additional benefits of this system include its simple manufacturing and lower costs.
PMCID: PMC2784829  PMID: 14727850
Polymeric Implant; Leuprolide Acetate; Dog; Sustained Release; Testosterone Suppression
7.  Effect of GnRH analogues and octreotide treatment on apoptosis and the cell proliferation of endometrium adenocarcinoma cell lines 
The aim of this study was to compare apoptotic and antiproliferative effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues and their combination with octeotide on endometrioid endometrial cancer cell lines.
Material and Method
Women diagnosed with endometrioid adenocarcinoma at the department of Gynecology and Obstetric of Kocaeli University Medical School were included in this research. Endometrium cancer cell lines obtained from three patients were used for this study. After trypsinization in 0.5% in calcium magnesium, free phosphate buffer solution (CMFPBS) cells were seeded on glass slides in 24-well plates containing DMEM-F12 medium and 10% fetal calf serum as culture medium. Cells were incubated for 24 hours at 37ºC in 5% CO2. GnRH agonist leuprolide (Lucrin 1 μmol/L), GnRH antagonist ganirelix (Orgalutran 1 μmol/L), leuprolide with octreotide (Sandostatin 10-6 mol/L), ganirelix with octreotide and no drug were added to the wells. Apoptosis and cells proliferations were evaluated after 12, 24, 48 and 72th hours of incubation. The percentage of apoptotic cells was evaluated by TdT mediated biotin-dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) method; cell proliferation was assessed by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation.
Apoptotic index in grade I EEC cell line among ganirelixoctreotide treated cells and leuprolide-octreotide combination therapy were respectively higher than the untreated control (p<0.001, p=0.001). The number of apoptotic cells in grade II EEC cell line among leuprolide-octreotide and leuprolide were significantly (p<0.001, p<0.001) higher than in controls. In grade III EEC cell line, the number of TUNEL positive cells among leuprolide, ganirelix and ganirelixoctreotide therapiy groups were significantly higher than in untreated control. Time dependent antiproliferative effect was obtained with leuprolide and leuprolide-octreotide in grade I EEC (p<0.001, p<0.001). Grade II EEC cell line is not influenced by hormonotherapies. However, the antiproliferative effect was obtained with ganirelix, leuprolide and leuprolide-octreotide in grade III cell line.
GnRH analogues appears to have a direct effect, enhancing the apoptotic index and decreasing the cell proliferation in endometrial adenocancer cell lines.
PMCID: PMC3939219  PMID: 24591918
Endometrial cancer; gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues; octreotide; apoptosis; cell proliferation
8.  Phase II Study of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Analog for Ovarian Function Preservation in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Patients 
The Oncologist  2012;17(2):233-238.
Results of a phase II clinical trial of leuprolide administered before conditioning chemotherapy in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients to reduce the incidence of premature ovarian failure are presented. Leuprolide did not preserve ovarian function in patients who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation using either myeloablative or nonmyeloablative regimens.
Premature ovarian failure occurs in 40%–70% of patients who receive conventional chemotherapy alone. However, the incidence is higher, 70%–100%, in patients who undergo myeloablative chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs, such as leuprolide, in a continuous-release formulation, may protect the ovaries from the gonadotoxic effects of chemotherapy. In non-HSCT settings, GnRH analogs have reduced the risk for premature ovarian failure to <10%. We conducted a phase II clinical trial based on the hypothesis that giving leuprolide before conditioning chemotherapy in HSCT patients reduces premature ovarian failure incidence.
Patients and Methods.
Eligible patients were women aged ≤40 years who were HSCT candidates, were premenopausal, and had both follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels ≤20 IU/L. Two 22.5-mg leuprolide doses were delivered in 3-month depot i.m. injections, the first within 2 months before HSCT. Patients were monitored for menstruation return, and ovarian function tests (FSH, LH, and estradiol) were done every 2 months starting 90 days after the last leuprolide dose.
Sixty eligible patients were enrolled, 59 underwent HSCT, and 44 were evaluable (median age, 25 years; median follow-up, 355 days). Only seven of 44 patients (16%) regained ovarian function. Of the 33 who received myeloablative regimens, six (18%) regained ovarian function. However, among the 11 who received nonmyeloablative regimens, only one (9%) regained ovarian function (p = .66).
Leuprolide did not preserve ovarian function in patients who underwent HSCT using either myeloablative or nonmyeloablative regimens. Other measures that protect ovarian function need to be investigated.
PMCID: PMC3286172  PMID: 22282904
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog; Premature ovarian failure; Ovarian function preservation; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
9.  Multicenter clinical trial of leuprolide acetate depot (Luphere depot 3.75 mg) for efficacy and safety in girls with central precocious puberty 
We evaluated the efficacy, safety and psychological aspect of monthly administrations of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa), leuprolide acetate depot (Luphere depot 3.75 mg), in patients with precocious puberty.
A total of 54 girls with central precocious puberty were administered with leuprolide acetate (Luphere depot 3.75 mg) every four weeks over 24 weeks. We evaluated the percentage of children exhibiting a suppressed luteinizing hormone (LH) response to GnRH (LH peak≤3 IU/L), peak LH/follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) ratio of GnRH stimulation test less than 1, change in bone age/chronologic age ratio, change in the Tanner stage and change in eating habit and psychological aspect.
(1) The percentage of children exhibiting a suppressed LH response to GnRH, defined as an LH peak≤3 IU/L at 24 weeks was 96.3 % (52/54). (2) The percentage of children exhibiting peak LH/FSH ratio<1 at 24 weeks of the study was 94.4 % (51/54). (3) The ratio of bone age and chronological age significantly declined from 1.27±0.07 to 1.24±0.01 after the 6 months of the study. (4) The mean Tanner stage manifested a significant change 2.3±0.48 at baseline, down to 1.70±0.61 at 24 weeks. (5) Based on the questionnaires, the score for eating habits showed a significant change from the baseline 34.0±6.8 to 31.3±6.8. (6) The psychological assessment did not exhibit a significant difference except with scores for sociability, problem behavior total score and other problems.
The leuprolide 3.75 mg (Luphere depot) is useful and safety for treating children with central precocious puberty.
PMCID: PMC4027087  PMID: 24904873
Leuprolide acetate; Central precocious puberty; Treatment outcome
10.  A Phase II Trial of Docetaxel with Rapid Androgen Cycling as a Treatment for Patients with Prostate Cancer 
We evaluated rapid androgen cycling in combination with docetaxel for men with progressive non-castrate prostate cancers.
Non-castrate patients with ≤ 6 months of hormones were eligible. Cohort 1 (63 patients ) received 6 28-day cycles of docetaxel (75 mg/m2), leuprolide and 7 days of topical testosterone. Cohort 2 (39 patients) received 9 21-day cycles of docetaxel (70 mg/m2), leuprolide and 3 days of testosterone. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients at 18 months who achieved non -castrate testosterone levels (>150 ng/dl) and an undetectable PSA (≤ 0.05, ≤0.5, or ≤2.0 ng/ml with prior prostatectomy, radiotherapy, or no definitive therapy, respectively). Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) activity and docetaxel pharmacokinetics were evaluated.
A higher proportion of patients achieved the undetectable PSA outcome at 18 months in cohort 2 relative to cohort 1 (13% vs. 0%). The 16% incidence of febrile neutropenia was higher than observed in patients was castration-resistant disease, which may have been related to a 50% reduction in overall docetaxel clearance in the non-castrate group. There was no alteration in CYP3A4 activity (P=0.87) or docetaxel clearance (P=0.88) between cycles.
The undetectable PSA endpoint allows for a rapid screening of interventions for further study. Increasing the number of docetaxel cycles following a shorter period of testosterone repletion, and a longer duration of testosterone depletion, increased the proportion of men who achieved an undetectable PSA. The higher-than-expected incidence of febrile neutropenia may have been related to the reduced overall docetaxel clearance in patients with non-castrate vs castrate testosterone levels.
PMCID: PMC3051836  PMID: 18565882
11.  Obesity and Sex Steroids during Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist Treatment for Prostate Cancer 
To evaluate effects of obesity on sex steroid levels during treatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist in men with prostate cancer.
Experimental Design
Forty-nine hormone-naïve men with recurrent or locally advanced prostate cancer were included in the analyses. All subjects were treated with leuprolide 3-month depot for 48 weeks. Serum levels of estradiol, sex hormone – binding globulin, total testosterone, and free testosterone were assessed at baseline, 24 weeks, and 48 weeks. Subjects were categorized by body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat.
Pretreatment serum sex hormone – binding globulin and total testosterone levels were significantly lower in overweight and obese men than in men with normal BMI. In the overall study population, mean serum testosterone concentrations decreased from 372 ±18 ng/dL at baseline to 13 ± 1ng/dL at week 48 (P < 0.001). Free testosterone decreased from 6.75 ± 0.33 ng/dL at baseline to 0.21 ± 0.02 ng/dL at week 48 (P < 0.001). During treatment with leuprolide, obese men had significantly higher total and free testosterone levels than men with normal BMI. Compared with normal men, total and free testosterone levels during treatment were 1.8-fold and 2.3-fold higher in obese men. Similar results were observed when subjects were categorized by body fat.
Despite lower pretreatment serum testosterone levels, obese men have higher total and free testosterone levels during leuprolide treatment than men with normal BMI. These differences may contribute to the association between obesity and increased prostate cancer mortality.
PMCID: PMC3047403  PMID: 17200361
12.  Clinical significance of suboptimal hormonal levels in men with prostate cancer treated with LHRH agonists 
We examined the serum levels of testosterone (T) (total and bioavailable) dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in men receiving treatment with luteinizing hormone releasing-hormone (LHRH) agonists for metastatic prostate cancer. In doing this, we want to determine the efficacy of these agents in lowering T levels and whether a possible relationship exists between PSA values, as a surrogate measure of tumour activity, and hormone levels.
This was a single centre prospective study of patients on LHRH agonists. Of all the 100 eligible patients, 31 did not qualify (10 were receiving their first injection, 13 were on intermittent hormonal therapy, 7 refused to enter the trial and 1 patient’s blood sample was lost). Therefore in total, 69 patients were included in the final analysis. Each patient had their blood sample drawn immediately before the administration of a LHRH agonist. The new proposed criteria of <20 ng/dL (0.69 nmol/L) of total testosterone was used to define optimal levels of the hormone in this population.
Of the 69 patients, 41 were on goserelin injections, 21 on leuprolide, and 7 on buserelin. There was no statistical difference in hormone levels between any of the medications. Overall, 21% of patients failed to reach optimal levels of total testosterone. PSA levels were higher in this group. There was a statistically significant correlation between PSA and testosterone levels, as well as between PSA and FSH. Serum levels of PSA, however, did not correlate with those of bioavailable testosterone.
Failure to reach optimal levels of testosterone occurs in patients on LHRH agonist therapy. Higher PSA values are more commonly found in patients with suboptimal levels of testosterone receiving LHRH analogs, but the clinical importance of this finding has not been established. There is no significant difference with respect to hormonal levels reached among patients on a variety of LHRH agonists. Total testosterone determinations should be considered in patients on LHRH agonist therapy, particularly when the PSA values begin to rise since it may lead to further beneficial hormonal manipulation.
PMCID: PMC3650764  PMID: 23671531
13.  Microlaparoscopy and a GnRH Agonist: a Combined Minimally Invasive Approach for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusive Salpingitis Isthmica Nodosa Associated With Endometriosis 
To evaluate whether occlusive salpingitis isthmica nodosa associated with endometriosis can be diagnosed by microlaparoscopy and managed with medical therapy using leuprolide acetate.
This was a prospective, nonrandomized study conducted at a university hospital and a private community hospital. It included women with occlusive salpingitis isthmica nodosa associated with endometriosis. Diagnosis of salpingitis isthmica nodosa was made via microlaparoscopy with chromotubation. Patients with occlusive salpingitis isthmica nodosa were treated with leuprolide acetate 3.75 mg administered monthly for 6 months.
Tubal patency in occlusive salpingitis isthmica nodosa following medical therapy with leuprolide acetate was evaluated. Thirteen of 16 (81.3%) women with bilateral salpingitis isthmica nodosa achieved patency of both fallopian tubes following treatment with leuprolide acetate; 3 of 16 (18.8%) developed patency in one of the fallopian tubes. All 5 women with unilateral SIN demonstrated bilateral patency following medical therapy.
Diagnosis of occlusive salpingitis isthmica nodosa can be made by microlaparoscopy. These preliminary results suggest that medical therapy with leuprolide acetate may be the first-line treatment modality for women with occlusive salpingitis isthmica nodosa associated with endometriosis, possibly avoiding a more invasive surgical procedure.
PMCID: PMC3015643  PMID: 16381361
Microlaparoscopy; Endometriosis; Salpingitis isthmica nodosa; Infertility; GnRH agonist; Leuprolide acetate
14.  Experience with degarelix in the treatment of prostate cancer 
Degarelix is a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist for the first-line treatment of androgen-dependent advanced prostate cancer. It has a direct mechanism of action that blocks the action of GnRH on the pituitary with no initial surge in gonadotrophin or testosterone levels. Degarelix is the most extensively studied and widely available GnRH antagonist worldwide. Clinical studies have demonstrated similar efficacy to the GnRH agonist leuprolide in achieving testosterone suppression in patients with prostate cancer. However, degarelix produces a faster suppression of testosterone and prostate-specific antigen (PSA), with no testosterone surge or microsurges, thus preventing the risk of clinical flare in advanced disease. Clinical trials have demonstrated that degarelix can offer improved disease control when compared with a GnRH agonist in terms of superior PSA progression-free survival (suggesting that degarelix likely delays progression to castration-resistant disease), and a more significant impact on bone serum alkaline phosphatase and follicle-stimulating hormone. Degarelix is generally well tolerated, with no reports of systemic allergic reactions in any clinical studies. In conclusion, degarelix offers clinicians a rational first-line hormonal monotherapy option for the management of advanced prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3547532  PMID: 23372607
degarelix; GnRH agonist; GnRH antagonist; prostate cancer
15.  Inflammatory myopathy and severe rhabdomyolysis induced by leuprolide acetate therapy for prostate cancer: a case report 
Leuprolide acetate is a synthetic analog of gonadotropin-releasing hormone used for the treatment of prostate cancer. Its side effects are hot flashes, nausea, and fatigue. We report a case of a patient with proximal inflammatory myopathy accompanied by severe rhabdomyolysis and renal failure following the second application of leuprolide acetate. Drug withdrawal and steroid therapy resulted in remission within six weeks of the diagnosis. To the best of our knowledge, our case report describes the second case of leuprolide acetate-induced inflammatory myopathy and the first case of severe leuprolide acetate-induced rhabdomyolysis and renal failure in the literature.
Case presentation
A 64-year-old Swiss Caucasian man was admitted to the hospital because of progressive proximal muscle weakness, dyspnea, and oliguria. He had been treated twice with leuprolide acetate in monthly doses. We performed a muscle biopsy, which excluded other causes of myopathy. The patient's renal failure and rhabdomyolysis were treated with rehydration and steroid therapy.
The aim of our case report is to highlight the rare but severe side effects associated with leuprolide acetate therapy used to treat patients with inflammatory myopathy: severe rhabdomyolysis and renal failure.
PMCID: PMC3174929  PMID: 21864378
16.  The Effects of Metformin and Leuprolide Acetate on Insulin Resistance and Testosterone Levels in Non-Diabetic Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial 
Fertility and sterility  2010;94(6):2161-2166.
To determine whether insulin sensitizers lower androgen levels and whether androgen suppression improves insulin resistance in non-diabetic postmenopausal women.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
Clinical and Translational Research Center of a university hospital
Thirty-five postmenopausal women aged 50-79 yr with insulin resistance and higher testosterone levels
Subjects were randomized to metformin plus leuprolide placebo (LP), leuprolide plus metformin placebo (MP), or LP plus MP in a 1:1:1 fashion over a 12 week period.
Main Outcome Measures
Insulin sensitivity (M) assessed by euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp and free testosterone by equilibrium dialysis.
In those randomized to metformin, free testosterone decreased by 19% (p=0.02) compared to placebo, along with an expected improvement in M. Total testosterone also decreased significantly (p=0.001) whereas sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) did not change. In those randomized to leuprolide, the percent change in M was not different from placebo (p=0.56), despite a 48% relative decrease in free testosterone levels (p<0.001).
These data are the first to establish a causal link between insulin resistance and testosterone in postmenopausal women. They confirm that treatment of insulin resistance decreases testosterone production in this population and demonstrate that pharmacologic lowering of testosterone does not affect insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC2891358  PMID: 20226444
Testosterone; insulin resistance; polycystic ovary syndrome; metabolic syndrome; aging; elderly; women
17.  An update on the use of degarelix in the treatment of advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer 
OncoTargets and therapy  2013;6:391-402.
Androgen deprivation therapy remains the mainstay of medical treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Commonly, this is achieved with medical androgen deprivation rather than surgical intervention as the permanence and psychological effects of the latter are unacceptable for most patients. Degarelix is a third generation antagonist of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH, also termed gonadotropin-releasing hormone) for the first-line treatment of androgen-dependent advanced prostate cancer. Degarelix acts directly on the pituitary receptors for LHRH, blocking the action of endogenous LHRH. The use of degarelix eliminates the initial undesirable surge in gonadotropin and testosterone levels, which is produced by agonists of LHRH. Degarelix is the most comprehensively studied and widely available LHRH antagonist worldwide. Clinical trials have demonstrated that degarelix has a long-term efficacy similar to the LHRH agonist leuprolide in achieving testosterone suppression in patients with prostate cancer. Degarelix, however, produces a faster suppression of testosterone and prostate-specific antigen (PSA), with no testosterone surges or microsurges, and thus prevents the risk of clinical flare in advanced disease. Recent clinical trials demonstrated that treatment with degarelix results in improved disease control when compared with an LHRH agonist in terms of superior PSA progression-free survival, suggesting that degarelix likely delays progression to castration-resistant disease and has a more significant impact on bone serum alkaline phosphatase and follicle-stimulating hormone. Degarelix is usually well tolerated, with limited toxicity and no evidence of systemic allergic reactions in clinical studies. Degarelix thus represents an important addition to the hormonal armamentarium for therapy of advanced androgen-dependent prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3633549  PMID: 23620672
degarelix; GnRH; LHRH; metastatic prostate cancer; androgen-dependent prostate cancer; hormonal therapy
18.  Duration of First Off-Treatment Interval Is Prognostic for Time to Castration Resistance and Death in Men With Biochemical Relapse of Prostate Cancer Treated on a Prospective Trial of Intermittent Androgen Deprivation 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(16):2668-2673.
This was an exploratory analysis of a trial of intermittent androgen deprivation (IAD) in men with biochemical relapse (BR) to establish first cycle characteristics prognostic for progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and death.
Patients and Methods
Men with BR of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiation (RT) were treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) comprised of leuprolide and flutamide. After 9 months on treatment, ADT was stopped, and monthly prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were observed during the off-treatment interval. When the PSA reached a threshold value (1 ng/mL for RP, 4 ng/mL for RT), ADT was resumed in a new cycle. Patients were treated intermittently in this manner until CRPC, which was defined as ≥ two consecutive increasing PSA values while on ADT with castrate testosterone levels.
Seventy-two of 100 patients enrolled onto the study met criteria for this analysis. The duration of the first off-treatment interval (≤ v > 40 weeks) was associated with shorter time to CRPC (hazard ratio = 2.9; 95% CI, 1.1 to 7.7; P = .03) and death (hazard ratio = 3.8; 95% CI, 1.1 to 13.6; P = .04) after adjusting for age, stage, grade, and PSA at diagnosis.
In patients who completed the first cycle of IAD, a duration of the first off-treatment interval of ≤ 40 weeks defines a subset of patients at higher risk of CRPC and death. Conversely, patients with an off-treatment interval of more than 40 weeks have a significantly better long-term prognosis.
PMCID: PMC2881848  PMID: 20421544
19.  DUROS® Technology Delivers Peptides and Proteins at Consistent Rate Continuously for 3 to 12 Months 
DUROS® delivery technology consists of sterile, nonbiodegradable, single-use devices for continuous, subcutaneous administration of therapeutic molecules at steady rates. DUROS delivery technology is capable of delivering a wide range of therapeutic molecules for durations ranging from 3 to 12 months. Administration of therapy via DUROS devices may facilitate patient compliance with treatment since the DUROS device does not require self-injections. Consistent delivery of drug levels within a targeted therapeutic window achievable with DUROS delivery technology avoids exposure to high initial drug concentrations that can result from bolus injections and that may be associated with certain adverse drug effects.
Several approaches have been taken to assess the suitability of DUROS devices for delivery of the therapeutic molecules leuprolide acetate, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and omega interferon (omega IFN). Testing includes determining protein stability and measuring in vitro protein release rates.
Three peptides or proteins were formulated into either a solution (leuprolide) or Intarcia's proprietary DUROS suspension formulation (GLP-1, omega IFN) and filled into DUROS devices. The devices demonstrated reliable start-up and continuous steady drug delivery in in vitro studies. Stability of the molecules was maintained for 3 years at 37°C (leuprolide), 2 years at 30°C (omega IFN), or 6 months at 37°C (GLP-1). Patients in clinical studies of a 1-year DUROS device found the device to be comfortable and convenient.
Multiple studies demonstrated that peptides or proteins remain stable in DUROS devices and that delivery at a steady rate can be achieved over a wide range of delivery rates.
PMCID: PMC2769721  PMID: 19885211
continuous peptide delivery; drug delivery; DUROS® delivery technology; GLP-1; omega interferon; leuprolide; Viadur® delivery device
20.  Unrecognized Kinetics of Serum Testosterone: Impact on Short-Term Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(3):570-575.
To evaluate the kinetics of serum testosterone (T) recovery following short-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), as the understanding thereof is essential for the proper management of prostate cancer (PCa), especially intermittent ADT.
Materials and Methods
This prospective analysis included male sex offenders who voluntarily received leuprolide acetate in order to alleviate sexual aberrance. Thirty-three and 25 patients who received 3 and 6 months of ADT were assigned to Group A and Group B, respectively. Serum T levels were obtained every week during the on-cycle period, then monthly during the off-cycle period for at least 12 months.
The kinetics of serum T during the on-cycle period were similar in both groups. After flare reaction at week 2, a nadir of 0.45±0.29 ng/mL was achieved. In Group A, an abrupt rebound-upsurge was observed during the first 2 month off-cycle period, which surpassed the baseline level and reached a plateau level of 8.74±2.11 ng/mL during the flare (p<0.001). This upsurge was followed by a gradual decline back to baseline over the following 10 months. In Group B, a gradual increase was observed, and a baseline level of 7.26±1.73 ng/mL was reached at 5 months. Thereafter, an ongoing upsurge that surpassed baseline levels was observed until 12 months (8.81±1.92 ng/mL; p=0.002).
The kinetics of serum T recovery during the off-cycle period varied according to the duration of ADT. Serum T should be monitored beyond normalization, as an excessive rebound may improve quality-of-life, but hamper the treatment efficacy of PCa.
PMCID: PMC3990065  PMID: 24719121
Androgens; kinetics; testosterone
21.  A biodegradable polymeric system for peptide–protein delivery assembled with porous microspheres and nanoparticles, using an adsorption/infiltration process 
A biodegradable polymeric system is proposed for formulating peptides and proteins. The systems were assembled through the adsorption of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles onto porous, biodegradable microspheres by an adsorption/infiltration process with the use of an immersion method. The peptide drug is not involved in the manufacturing of the nanoparticles or in obtaining the microspheres; thus, contact with the organic solvent, interfaces, and shear forces required for the process are prevented during drug loading. Leuprolide acetate was used as the model peptide, and poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) was used as the biodegradable polymer. Leuprolide was adsorbed onto different amounts of PLGA nanoparticles (25 mg/mL, 50 mg/mL, 75 mg/mL, and 100 mg/mL) in a first stage; then, these were infiltrated into porous PLGA microspheres (100 mg) by dipping the structures into a microsphere suspension. In this way, the leuprolide was adsorbed onto both surfaces (ie, nanoparticles and microspheres). Scanning electron microscopy studies revealed the formation of a nanoparticle film on the porous microsphere surface that becomes more continuous as the amount of infiltrated nanoparticles increases. The adsorption efficiency and release rate are dependent on the amount of adsorbed nanoparticles. As expected, a greater adsorption efficiency (~95%) and a slower release rate were seen (~20% of released leuprolide in 12 hours) when a larger amount of nanoparticles was adsorbed (100 mg/mL of nanoparticles). Leuprolide acetate begins to be released immediately when there are no infiltrated nanoparticles, and 90% of the peptide is released in the first 12 hours. In contrast, the systems assembled in this study released less than 44% of the loaded drug during the same period of time. The observed release profiles denoted a Fickian diffusion that fit Higuchi’s model (t1/2). The manufacturing process presented here may be useful as a potential alternative for formulating injectable depots for sensitive hydrophilic drugs such as peptides and proteins, among others.
PMCID: PMC3684224  PMID: 23788833
adsorption; biodegradable polymers; controlled release; nanoparticles; porous microspheres; peptide delivery
22.  Efficacy of Leuprolide Acetate 1-Month Depot for Central Precocious Puberty (CPP): Growth Outcomes During a Prospective, Longitudinal Study 
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) are the treatment of choice for CPP. We investigated growth in GnRHa-naïve subjects, treated with leuprolide acetate 1-month depot for CPP.
This prospective, open-label study had a long-term, observational, follow-up period. Forty-nine females and 6 males were enrolled. Leuprolide acetate depot was administered intramuscularly every 28 days. Height and growth rate during and after treatment until adulthood were measured.
Among 30 of 49 females having an adult height (AH) measurement, 29 had target heights available (mean = 163.8 cm) and 27 had pretreatment predicted adult heights (PAHs; mean = 157.4 cm). After treatment, the mean AH at mean age 21.8 years [range 13.7-26.7 years] was 162.5 cm, a mean height gain over baseline PAH of 4.0 cm. The mean height standard deviation score was -0.1 at AH.
Treatment of CPP with leuprolide acetate 1-month depot had beneficial effects on growth rate and preservation of AH.
Trial Registration NCT00660010
PMCID: PMC3159140  PMID: 21860633
23.  Significant adverse reactions to long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists for the treatment of central precocious puberty and early onset puberty 
Long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) are commonly used to treat central precocious puberty (CPP) in Korea. Although rare, there have been reports on the characteristic of adverse reactions of GnRHa in CPP among the Korean population. This study was intended to report on our clinical experience regarding significant adverse reactions to long-acting GnRHa in CPP and early onset puberty and to evaluate the prevalence rate of serious side effects.
This retrospective study included children with CPP and early onset puberty, who were administered monthly with long-acting GnRHa (leuprolide acetate, triptorelin acetate) at the outpatient clinic of Department of Pediatrics, at Inha University Hospital, between January 2011 and December 2013. We analyzed the clinical characteristics of patients who experienced significant adverse reactions and evaluated the prevalence rate.
Six serious side effects (0.9%) were observed among total of 621 CPP and early onset puberty children with GnRHa therapy. The number of sterile abscess formation was four in three patients (4 events of 621). Anaphylaxis occurred in only one patient, and unilateral slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) in another one patient. Anaphylaxis occurred after the 6th administration of the monthly depot triptorelin acetate. Unilateral SCFE developed in GnRHa therapy.
Sterile abscess formation occurred in 0.6% of CPP and early onset puberty patients from the administration of a monthly depot GnRHa therapy. The occurrences of anaphylaxis and SCFE are extremely rare, but can have serious implications on patients. Clinicians should be aware of these potential adverse effects related to GnRHa therapy in CPP.
PMCID: PMC4208261  PMID: 25346917
Drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; Central precocious puberty; Leuprolide; Triptorelin
24.  Predicting response to leuprolide of women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder by daily mood rating dynamics 
Journal of Psychiatric Research  2010;45(3):386-394.
Approximately 60–70 percent of women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) show symptomatic improvement in response to the GnRH agonist leuprolide acetate, which suppresses ovarian function. However, it has been very difficult to either predict or understand why some women respond, while others do not. We applied several complementary statistical methods to the dynamics of pre-treatment mood rating data to determine possible predictors of response for women with PMDD. We compared responders (n = 33) to nonresponders (n = 12) in clinical trials of leuprolide (three months in duration) as a treatment for PMDD, on the basis of pre-trial daily self-ratings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability. We analyzed both sequential irregularity (approximate entropy, ApEn) and a quantification of spikiness of these series, as well as a composite measure that equally weighted these two statistics. Both ApEn and Spikiness were significantly smaller for responders than nonresponders (P ≤ 0.005); the composite measure was smaller for responders compared with nonresponders (P ≤ 0.002) and discriminated between the subgroups with high sensitivity and specificity. In contrast, mean symptom levels were indistinct between the subgroups. Relatively regular and non-spiky pre-trial dynamics of mood ratings predict a positive response to leuprolide by women with PMDD with high probability, moreover based on typically less than 3 months of daily records. The statistical measures may have broad and direct applicability to behavioral studies for many psychiatric disorders, facilitating both accurate diagnosis and the prediction of response to treatment.
PMCID: PMC3262182  PMID: 20708199
Mood disorders; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder; Response to therapy; Approximate entropy; Cyclicity
25.  Overdiagnosis of a typical carcinoid tumor as an adenocarcinoma of the lung: a case report and review of the literature 
Overdiagnosis of bronchopulmonary carcinoid tumors together with overtreatment can cause serious postoperative consequences for the patient. We report of a patient with a typical bronchopulmonary carcinoid tumor, which was initially misdiagnosed and treated as an adenocarcinoma of the lung. GnrH receptors and the associated Raf-1/MEK/ERK-1/2-pathway are potential targets for analogs in cancer treatment. We suspected a correlation between the lack of tumor growth, application of leuprolide and the Raf-1/MEK/ERK-1/2-pathway. Therefore, we examined GnrH receptor status in the examined specimen.
Case presentation
In 2010 a 77 year-old male patient was shown to have a tumor mass of about 1.7 cm diameter in the inferior lobe of the left lung. Since 2005, this tumor had hitherto been known and showed no progression in size. The patient suffered from prostate cancer 4 years ago and was treated with TUR-P, radiation therapy and the application of leuprolide. We conducted an explorative thoracotomy with atypical segment resection. The first histological diagnosis was a metastasis of prostate cancer with lymphangiosis carcinomatosa. After several immunohistochemical stainings, the diagnosis was changed to adenocarcinoma of the lung. We conducted a re-thoracotomy with lobectomy and systematic lymphadenectomy 12 days later. The tumor stage was pT1 N0 MX G2 L1 V0 R0. Further immunohistochemical studies were performed. We received the results 15 days after the last operation. The diagnosis was ultimately changed to typical carcinoid tumor without any signs of lymphatic vessel invasion. The patient recovered well from surgery, but still suffers from dyspnea and lack of physical performance. Lung function testing revealed no evidence of impairment.
The use of several immunohistochemical markers, careful evaluation of hematoxylin-eosin sections and the Ki-67 labelling index are important tools in discriminating between carcinoids and other bronchopulmonary carcinomas. Although we could not detect GnrH-receptors in the examined specimen, there may be individual differences in expression. GnrH receptor profiles in typical and atypical carcinoids should be scrutinized. This could lead to new therapeutical options, since the GnrH receptor has already been described on atypical carcinoids. Clinically tested drugs such as leuprolide could come to use.
PMCID: PMC3317839  PMID: 22269186
Overdiagnosis; typical carcinoid tumors; atypical carcinoid tumors; leuprolide; GnrH receptor; Raf-1/MEK/ERK-1/2-pathway

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