Pharmacodynamics of a long acting depot preparation of avorelin in patients with prostate cancer

Amir V. Kaisary*, Winsor G. Bowsher, David A. Gillatt, John B. Anderson, Peter R. Malone, Bruno P. Imbimbo, Audrey M. Ryan, S. S. Sandhu, Nick R. Simmonds, Joanne Norman, Wendy Husband, Heather Gould, Liz Salter, Angela McCullagh, Kate Burden, Michelle Brown, Marian Harrington, David H. Ducroq, Atilla Turkes, Lesley Cartwright-TaylorHuy Ong, Marina Cesana, Tony Maggi, Claudio Iannacone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We evaluate the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and tolerability of a sustained release depot formulation of avorelin, a new potent super agonist of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone receptors, in patients with prostate cancer. Materials and Methods: A total of 60 patients were randomized to receive a 10 mg. (31) or 15 mg. (29) avorelin subcutaneous depot. Serum testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and plasma avorelin were measured regularly until depot exhaustion. Results: Of the 10 mg. group patients 3 withdrew from the study after 31 to 35 weeks due to disease progression. Of the 15 mg. group patients i did not complete the study for logistical reasons. After the expected flare in serum testosterone, LH and FSH during week 1, medical castration (testosterone concentration less than 1.735 nmol./l.) was achieved within 4 weeks of depot injection. Median duration of testosterone suppression was 40 weeks in the 10 mg. (95% confidence interval 35 to 42) and 39 in the 15 mg. (37 to 43) group. The reduction in serum LH was similar to that of testosterone, while that of FSH was less pronounced. Plasma avorelin was proportional to the dose and correlated with serum testosterone. Normalization of serum prostate specific (4 ng./ml, or less) at 6 months was achieved in 80 and 88% of the 10 and 15 mg. groups, respectively. During the (7 to 20-month) observation period 94 and 86% of the 10 and 15 mg. groups, respectively, complained of adverse events mainly related to androgen suppression (hot flushes, decreased libido and impotence) or the nature of the disease (skeletal pain). In each group 3 patients had serious adverse events requiring hospitalization for reasons unrelated to avorelin treatment. The depot was well tolerated locally. Conclusions: Subcutaneous depot formulations of avorelin were well tolerated and had protracted inhibitory effects on pituitary gonadotropin secretion in patients with prostate cancer. Testosterone suppression was maintained for more than 6 months in all patients. Avorelin depots could be the first luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist formulation to be administered at 6-month intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2019-2023
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Gonadorelin
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Testosterone


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