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Is there a role for antiandrogen monotherapy in patients with metastatic prostate cancer?

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  • 1Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.


Castration is the most widely used form of androgen ablation employed in the treatment of metastatic (M1) prostate cancer. Non-steroidal antiandrogen monotherapy is a potential alternative treatment option for men for whom castration is unacceptable or not indicated. Of the three non-steroidal antiandrogens, bicalutamide ('Casodex'), flutamide and nilutamide, only bicalutamide has been compared with castration in large, controlled, randomised, Phase III trials in M1 patients. A post-hoc analysis of these studies indicated that bicalutamide 150 mg/day monotherapy may be of benefit to M1 patients with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) level </=400 ng/ml. Significant advantages for M1 patients treated with bicalutamide were observed in subjective response rate, maintenance of sexual interest and physical capacity. Patients with a higher disease burden (PSA >400 ng/ml) may decide that quality of life and symptomatic benefits outweigh the slight survival disadvantage seen in clinical trials and opt for bicalutamide monotherapy as an alternative to castration.Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2001) 4, 196-203.

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