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Asian Journal of Andrology (2012) 14, 270-277; doi:10.1038/aja.2011.155; published online 9 January 2012

Mathematically modelling and controlling prostate cancer under intermittent hormone therapy

Yoshito Hirata1, Gouhei Tanaka1, Nicholas Bruchovsky2 and Kazuyuki Aihara1

1 Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153–8505, Japan
2 Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Z6, Canada

Correspondence: Professor K Aihara, (aihara@sat.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp)

Received 16 June 2011; Revised 19 August 2011; Accepted 18 September 2011
Advance online publication 9 January 2012

In this review, we summarize our recently developed mathematical models that predict the effects of intermittent androgen suppression therapy on prostate cancer (PCa). Although hormone therapy for PCa shows remarkable results at the beginning of treatment, cancer cells frequently acquire the ability to grow without androgens during long-term therapy, resulting in an eventual relapse. To circumvent hormone resistance, intermittent androgen suppression was investigated as an alternative treatment option. However, at the present time, it is not possible to select an optimal schedule of on- and off-treatment cycles for any given patient. In addition, clinical trials have revealed that intermittent androgen suppression is effective for some patients but not for others. To resolve these two problems, we have developed mathematical models for PCa under intermittent androgen suppression. The mathematical models not only explain the mechanisms of intermittent androgen suppression but also provide an optimal treatment schedule for the on- and off-treatment periods.

Keywords: diagnosis; intermittent androgen suppression; mathematical models; personalized treatment schedule; prognosis; prostate cancer


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