Washington: Men who are receiving hormone therapy for prostate cancer also experience menopausal hot flashes but unlike in women, neither soy protein nor a common antidepressant provides relief for men, according to a new study.
Hot flashes occur in approximately 80 percent of men who are undergoing hormone manipulation as treatment for prostate cancer.
Hormone therapy reduces the levels of male hormones, called androgens, to prevent them from reaching prostate cancer cells and stimulating their growth.
Dr. Mara Vitolins, lead author of the study and professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said that changing hormone levels cause hot flashes in both women and men, so the team hoped that using soy supplements and/or an antidepressant would help reduce them in men as it does in many women.
Participants in the study completed a seven day pre-screening phase and 12 weeks of intervention.
One hundred and twenty men, ages 46 to 91, who were androgen-deprived were randomly assigned to one of four daily regimens: placebo pill and milk powder; venlafaxine, an antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat hot flashes in women, and milk powder protein; soy protein powder and placebo pill; or venlafaxine and milk powder.
Hot flash symptom severity and frequency and quality of life were assessed by the researchers.
The researchers found that neither venlafaxine nor soy protein alone or in combination reduced hot flashes in men.
"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 added.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.