Blocking Testosterone to Defeat Melanoma

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on September 9th, 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes

While Testosterone is essential to peak male performance, there are times during which Testosterone and other androgens can actually create a hindrance to health, healing, and recovery. Androgen blockers are often necessary to help survive potentially life-threatening conditions like cancer, for example. Prostate Cancer is one of the most well-known medical conditions requiring Testosterone Blockers to ensure the patient's survival. Researchers worldwide are searching for new and effective treatments and cures, and Androgen Blockers have their place in the medical toolbox.

Testosterone Interacts with the Immune System

While Testosterone is most strongly associated with virility and muscle development, the masculine hormone is intricately involved in various functional processes. This can lead to varied and unexpected differences between men and women when it comes to effective treatment. For example, the influence of Testosterone significantly impacts the effects of Covid-19 on the immune system. Low Testosterone puts men at increased risk of severe complications and death caused by the disease.

Androgen Inhibitors May Improve Odds Against Melanoma

Researchers recently discovered evidence that Androgen Blockers may increase men's success rates during melanoma treatment. This research was conducted by a medical team directed by Dr. Miles Andrews, an oncologist at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. This evidence was revealed in Nature, a scientific journal based out of London. In this case, it appears that Androgen Blockers help men defeat Melanoma because it lowers the defenses of cancer cells, making them easier to attack, disrupt, and kill.

BRAF Inhibitors Fight Cancer

One of the common treatments for Melanoma is the administration of BRAF Inhibitors. BRAF is an enzyme that helps modulate cell division and differentiation. Some forms of cancer occur when these cells go haywire and lead to uncontrolled cell division. Melanoma is not the only cancer that can be caused by BRAF malfunction. Certain types of ovarian, thyroid, and colorectal cancers can also be caused by BRAF mutation, among others. BRAF is part of the pathway that directs the growth of many cancers. Limiting BRAF activity makes it easier to win many wars against cancer.

Therapeutic resistance is a major issue in many cancers, including Melanoma. This means that cancer treatments lose effectiveness as the cancerous cells adapt to their changing environment. It's known that BRAF Inhibitors help prevent therapeutic resistance and maintain treatment effectiveness. While modern cancer treatments are better than ever, there are still a myriad of ways that we could improve the therapies and save more lives.

Researchers Find That BRAF Inhibitors Work Better in Women

During trial and research, Dr. Andrews and his associates realized that women responded better to BRAF Inhibitors than men and sought to answer why. Upon investigation of tumors, they realized that men had much higher androgen activity than women in the tumor cells. This makes sense since men produce significantly higher levels of androgens than women (including Testosterone). Dr. Andrews hypothesized that these elevated Androgen concentrations might explain why BRAF Inhibitors don't work as well in men.

Androgen Blockers, BRAF Inhibitors, and Immunotherapy

Based on the evidence from this research into BRAF, Dr. Andrews believes that Androgen Suppression may also be beneficial in other cancer treatments, including immunotherapy, which encourages the immune system to respond more vigorously to cancer cells. He believes that modulating Testosterone Levels may strengthen the effects of current and future immunotherapy treatments, helping keep cancer under control longer and improving patient outcomes and mortality.

If this research bears fruit, it could significantly benefit men diagnosed with Melanoma and will likely help men struggling with various other forms of cancer where the mechanisms of treatment are inhibited by Androgen activity. As we learn more about how Testosterone positively and negatively impacts the function of various systems under specific circumstances, it allows us to more effectively select who may be a candidate for Testosterone Therapy.

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