Nilandron is prescribed to men who have advanced prostate cancer and have also undergone surgery to remove their testicles. This medicine works to block any remaining testosterone, which the cancer cells use to grow. A possible off-label use for Nilandron is the treatment of advanced prostate cancer in men who still have their testicles.
What Is Nilandron Used For?Nilandron® (nilutamide) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of prostate cancer. Nilandron is reserved for cancer that has advanced beyond the prostate to other areas of the body (known as metastatic prostate cancer). It is used in men who have had surgery to remove their testicles (also known as surgical castration or an orchiectomy).
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men in the United States. It occurs when cancer cells grow in the tissue of the prostate gland, a small, walnut-shaped gland that secretes the liquid form of the semen.
Prostate cancer is normally a slow-growing cancer. Eventually, prostate cancer cells may spread (metastasize) throughout the body. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have already spread beyond the prostate (see Prostate Cancer Symptoms for information about symptoms of this condition).
Treatment for prostate cancer will depend on a number of factors, including how far the cancer has progressed, the symptoms a man is experiencing, and a man's personal preference. Treatment options for metastatic prostate cancer may include:
- Watchful waiting (see Watchful Waiting for Prostate Cancer)
- Radiation therapy (see Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer)
- Hormone therapy (see Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy).
Prostate cancer hormone therapy combats the disease by cutting off the supply of male hormones (androgens), such as testosterone, that encourage the cancer's growth. Although hormonal therapy cannot cure metastatic prostate cancer, it will usually shrink or halt the advancement of the disease, often for years. Hormone therapy can be administered through medications, including Nilandron, or surgery to remove the testicles, which are the main source of testosterone.
Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy or surgical castration) is usually an outpatient procedure. The testicles are removed through a small incision in the scrotum; the scrotum itself is left intact. To help offset the operation's psychological toll, some men opt for reconstructive surgery in which the surgeon replaces the testicles with prostheses shaped like testicles.
Nilandron is used in combination with surgery to remove the testicles. The medication is started the day of or the day following the surgery.