Androcur: brain tumors and the scandal of off-label prescriptions

Androcur: brain tumors and the scandal of off-label prescriptions

After the pills of 3e and 4e generation, it is the Androcur®'s turn to become the subject of a new crisis of the drug, or even a future health scandal.

Thanks to the relentless neurosurgeons who soon made the link between this drug and the increased risk of meningioma (at least 10 years ago), an investigation was conducted by the ANSM and this reveals that this anti-androgen is often prescribed as contraceptive or treatment for acne and endometriosis, multiplies by 7 the risk of meningiomas after 6 months and by 20 after 5 years of treatment.

A tumor that is more common in women

The meningioma is a so-called "benign" tumor, which develops at the level of the meninges and compresses the opposite part of the brain, because the skull is in the bone and is therefore non-stretchable. Meningiomas account for one third of all intracranial tumors and are more common in women because of their hormone dependence on progesterone: there are progesterone receptors on meningiomas and these would be stimulated with cyproterone acetate.

The development of meningiomas, usually slow, would be abnormal with this treatment, with faster development and multiple meningiomas. It is possible to see the meningioma decline when the Androcur stops. The severity of this tumor is due to the volume and the location, for example with a risk of blindness if a meningioma is located near the optical pathways.

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