Evidence is mounting that cyproterone, principally intended to control the libido and sexual deviation in men, may be linked to liver cancer.
Three cases have been recently reported in Japan of three girls who were given the drug in conjunction with a growth hormone. Any link, first suggested by the German medicines regulatory authority last year, was refuted by the manufacturer Schering. It stated that "treatment with the product does not involve a risk of cancer", although it did admit in the British drugs bible, the ABPI Data Sheet Compendium 1993-4, that the drug had caused malignant tumours in the livers of animals.
The new evidence involves three girls who developed liver cancer after being given the drug with a growth hormone to encourage growth at puberty. All three had daily doses up to 300mg (The Lancet, December 3, 1994).
The drug has also been used on prostate cancer patients to stop the spread of secondary cancer, and the side effects of goserelin.