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Is Casodex (bicalutamide) a form of Chemotherapy?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Dec 1, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Is Casodex a form of Chemotherapy?

No, Casodex is not a form of chemotherapy, Casodex (bicalutamide) is an anti-androgen which is a type of hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer.

When you have cancer there are different options of cancer treatment including:

  • hormone therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • stem cell or bone marrow transplant
  • surgery
  • targeted therapy

The type and extent of your cancer determines which treatment option or combinations of options that may be used.

Casodex is used to treat Stage D2 metastatic carcinoma of the prostate and should be used together with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist, which is another type of hormone therapy.

How does Casodex work?

Firstly, it is important to know that prostate cancer growth is increased or boosted by the male hormone testosterone, which is an androgen. With prostate cancer, testosterone acts on androgen receptors in the prostate to increase cancer growth.

Ways to slow down prostate cancer growth is to:

  • block the androgen receptors in the prostate (eg Casodex)
  • reduce the the amount of testosterone in the serum (eg LHRH agonist such as goserelin acetate, leuprolide acetate, or triptorelin pamoate)


Casodex is an androgen receptor inhibitor so works by blocking the androgen receptors in the prostate, therefore any available testosterone is less able to stimulate prostate cancer growth.

Why do you need to use a LHRH agonist with Casodex for prostate cancer?

LHRH agonist reduces the amount of testosterone that is released from the testicles. The reduction in testosterone means there is less stimulation of prostate cancer and so works to slow down prostate cancer growth.
Casodex and LHRH agonist work well together to slow prostate cancer grown as:

  • LHRH angonist reduces testosterone levels
  • Casodex blocks testosterone from binding to androgen receptors.

These two actions reduce the stimulation of prostate cancer growth.


Bottom line:

  • Casodex is an androgen receptor inhibitor used to treat Stage D2 metastatic carcinoma of the prostate.
  • Prostate cancer growth is stimulated by the male hormone testosterone.
  • Casodex works by blocking the androgen receptors in the prostate so that testosterone can not stimulate prostate cancer growth.
  • Casodex is taken with LHRH agonist which reduces serum testosterone levels.
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