Do Calcium Channel Blockers Adversely Affect Hormonal Treatment of Prostate Cancer Through an Inhibition of Apoptosis?


Thomas A. Buchholz MD Department of Radiation Oncology, Box 97, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030 U.S.A.


Background: Hormonal therapy of prostate cancer is mediated, in part, through apoptosis. This process is dependent on intracellular calcium influx. This study investigates whether the use of calcium channel blockers inhibits this process and thereby negatively impacts hormonal therapy.

Methods: Records from patients dying from metastatic prostate cancer in three medical centers were reviewed. The date of diagnosis, date of metastatic disease, date of death, Gleason sum, type of hormone therapy, and calcium channel blocker used were recorded.

Results: Of the 180 patients, 26 were on a calcium channel blocker at the time of their hormonal therapy. The length of survival from the time of hormone therapy to death in these patients did not differ from the 154 patients not on a calcium channel blocker (respective median survival time of 819 days versus 730 days, p = 0.913—log rank test of the survival curves). Similarly, there were no differences in length of survival from the date of diagnosis between the two groups. Other analyzed factors (type of hormone therapy, Gleason score, and interval between diagnosis and metastatic disease) also did not affect length of survival from the time of hormonal treatment or time of diagnosis.

Conclusion: We found no evidence that calcium channel blockers inhibit the therapeutic efficacy of hormonal treatment for metastatic prostate cancer.