THURSDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Treatments that ease hot
flashes in menopausal women are not effective against hot flashes
in men undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer, a new study
Hormone therapy in prostate cancer patients reduces levels of
male hormones (androgens) to prevent them from reaching prostate
cancer cells and stimulating cancer growth. Hot flashes occur in
about 80 percent of prostate cancer patients undergoing hormone
"Changing hormone levels cause hot flashes in both women and
men, so we hoped that using soy supplements and/or an
antidepressant would help reduce them in men as it does in many
women," study author Mara Vitolins, a professor of public health
sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said in a center
The study included 120 prostate cancer patients, aged 46 to 91,
undergoing hormone therapy. They were randomly assigned to follow
one of four daily regimens for 12 weeks: an inactive placebo pill
and milk powder; venlafaxine, an antidepressant commonly prescribed
to treat hot flashes in women, and milk powder protein; soy protein
powder and a placebo pill; or venlafaxine and milk powder.
Neither venlafaxine nor soy protein alone or in combination
reduced hot flashes in the men, according to the study published
online Sept. 30 in the
Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"Utilizing interventions that appear effective in decreasing hot
flashes in women to treat men who have hot flashes has proven to be
relatively ineffective," Vitolins said in the news release.
She added that the findings show the need to find treatments
specifically developed to ease hot flashes in men.
The Urology Care Foundation has more about
hormone therapy for prostate cancer.