Prostate Cancer Patients Fare Better On Continuous Hormone Therapy When Compared With Intermittent Hormone Therapy
Main Category: Prostate / Prostate CancerAlso Included In: Endocrinology; Sexual Health / STDsArticle Date: 05 Jun 2012 – 1:00 PDT
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Men with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer are usually either surgically castrated or given medications to suppress the production of male hormones that drive their cancer. The treatment can help keep the disease at bay temporarily, but in the majority of patients the cancer will relapse and contribute to the patient’s death.
Surgical castration is permanent but “medical castration” provides men the potential advantage of receiving therapy intermittently. A halt in this therapy is followed in time by a rise in testosterone levels. Scientific data suggested that intermittent treatment may delay the cancer relapse, and that the rise in testosterone may result in an improvement in the patient’s quality of life.
The findings were presented at the plenary session of the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) annual meeting by the study’s principal investigator, Maha Hussain, M.D., F.A.C.P., of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Based on these results,” Hussain says, “we can conclude that intermittent AD is not as effective as continuous AD in men with metastatic prostate cancer.”
Clinical researchers from the SWOG network, with funding from the NCI, led an international team in conducting the study at more than 500 sites, enrolling 3,040 men with hormone-sensitive, metastatic prostate cancer between 1995 and 2008.
Men on continuous therapy had a median overall survival time of 5.8 years from the time of randomization, with 29 percent of these men surviving at least 10 years. Those on intermittent therapy had a median overall survival time of 5.1 years, with 23 percent surviving at least 10 years from the time they were randomly assigned to a treatment arm.
The researchers found, in additional analyses, that men with “minimal disease” (disease that had not spread beyond the lymph nodes or the bones of the spine or pelvis) did significantly better on continuous therapy, while men with “extensive disease” (disease that had spread beyond the spine, pelvis, and lymph nodes or to the lungs or liver) seemed to do about as well using either treatment approach.
“In the past when it came to using hormone therapy in this disease, physicians viewed the disease as one entity and adopted a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” Hussain says. “Based on this study’s findings, it seems that one size does not necessarily fit all.”
Trial researchers also compared quality-of-life measures across the two study arms during the first 15 months following patient randomization, including measures of sexual function (impotence and libido), physical and emotional function, and energy level. They found improved sexual function in men who received intermittent therapy as compared to those on continuous therapy. A second presentation at an ASCO Poster Discussion session (Poster #25) reported on these preliminary quality-of-life findings from SWOG-9346 (Abstract #4571, CM Moinpour, DL Berry, et al).
“Though we see potential quality-of-life benefits with IAD,” Hussain says, “from a medical perspective, the primary findings of the study demonstrating that IAD is inferior with regard to overall survival should be the primary consideration in counselling all patients who are interested in intermittent therapy and particularly those with minimal disease.”
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‘Prostate Cancer Patients Fare Better On Continuous Hormone Therapy When Compared With Intermittent Hormone Therapy’
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Submited at Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at 3:00 pm on Uncategorized by hilman
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