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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2002 Feb;2(1):59-71.

EMP combination chemotherapy and low-dose monotherapy in advanced prostate cancer.

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Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


Many chemotherapeutic regimens combined with estramustine phosphate (EMP) have been elaborated for the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer over 30 years. However, older EMP-based combination chemotherapies with vinblastine, vinorelbine, doxorubicin or cyclophosphamide showed relatively low PSA response rate (25-58%) accompanied with high toxicities. On the other hand, newly developed EMP-based combination regimens with etoposide, pacitaxel, carboplatin or docetaxel demonstrated promising PSA response rate (43-77%) with moderate to severe toxicity in the rate of thromboembolic event (5-18%) and of neutropenia (9-41%). Treatment-related death was less in the latter combination group (5/615, 0.8%) than that in the former group (3/234, 1.3%). Of note, in the docetaxel combination with EMP, PSA response rate is as high as 77% with high rate (41%) of neutropenia but no treatment-related death was observed. Docetaxel combination with EMP seems to be the best regimen, though not completely justified by randomized trials, to be selected in the modern era, which will be followed by paclitaxel, carboplatin and EMP combination with PSA response rate of 71%. In addition, an interim report in 83 patients was presented. They were not consecutively enrolled but were treated on low-dose EMP monotherapy for previously untreated advanced prostate cancer in Department of Urology of Tokyo University and our 21 affiliated hospitals. Overall PSA response rate was as high as 93.4% out of 76 assessable patients. However, overall toxicity rate was abnormally high (39.5%) with drug discontinuation rate of 32.1%. The reason of low drug compliance may be attributed to gastrointestinal symptoms. To overcome the low drug compliance, appropriate patients for EMP administration should be selected by using gene analysis on the basis of sophisticated tailor-made medicine.

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