Zoladex can help slow down the progression of prostate or breast cancer and help manage the symptoms of endometriosis. This prescription medicine works by decreasing the amount of testosterone (in men) and estrogen (in women). It is approved for use in adults age 18 and older. Possible off-label uses for Zoladex include treating uterine fibroids and central precocious puberty.
What Is Zoladex Used For?Zoladex® (goserelin acetate implant) is a prescription hormone medication that belongs to a group of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. It comes as a small implant that is injected just beneath the skin of the abdomen (stomach). Zoladex is approved for the following uses:
- Treatment of prostate cancer in men
- Treatment of breast cancer in women
- Management of endometriosis
- Thinning the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) before endometrial ablation, a procedure used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding.
Using Zoladex for Prostate CancerProstate cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow in the prostate tissue. It is the second most common type of cancer to occur in men, second only to skin cancer.
After prostate cancer is diagnosed, healthcare providers will determine how advanced the cancer is by staging it. Staging is based on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. In general, there are four stages of prostate cancer (the higher the stage number, the more extensive the cancer). These include:
- Stage I describes cancer that is only in the prostate tissue.
- Stage II describes cancer that is more advanced than Stage I, but still remains localized to the prostate. This stage is further divided into IIA and IIB, with Stage IIA being limited to one lobe of the prostate.
- Stage III cancer has spread beyond the outer layer of the prostate, but not more widely.
- Stage IV prostate cancer has spread widely to other areas of the body, such as the bladder, rectum, bones, or lymph nodes. It also may be referred to as advanced prostate cancer or late-stage prostate cancer.
What can be confusing is that sometimes letters are used instead of roman numerals to describe the stages of prostate cancer. This is because there is more than one staging system. You may see Stage A, Stage B, Stage C, and Stage D instead of Stage I, Stage II, Stage III, or Stage IV. In general, these different staging systems are equivalent.
Prostate cancer cells grow in the presence of testosterone. Zoladex reduces the amount of testosterone produced by the testes, thus slowing down the growth and progression of the cancer cells.
Zoladex is approved for the treatment of Stage IIB to Stage III prostate cancer (or Stage B2 to Stage C). When used in these stages of cancer, Zoladex is used in combination with flutamide (Eulexin®), another prostate cancer medicine, before and during radiation treatment.
Zoladex also is approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Palliative treatment helps reduce cancer symptoms, but is not intended to cure the cancer. Zoladex can help ease prostate cancer symptoms, such as pain and difficulty urinating, but will not make the cancer go away.