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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2006 Jan-Mar;19(1):11-34.

Hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC): present and future approaches of therapy.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Endocrinologia Molecolare e Clinica, Cattedra di Oncologia, Universit√† degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.


The mainstay of therapy for patients with advanced prostate cancer still remains androgen deprivation, although response to this is invariably temporary. Most of the patients develop hormone-refractory disease resulting in progressive clinical deterioration and, ultimately, death. Until recently there has been no standard chemotherapeutic approach for hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC), the major benefits of chemotherapy being only palliative. The studies combining mitoxantrone plus a corticosteroid demonstrated that chemotherapy could be given to men with symptomatic HRPC with minimal toxicity and a significant palliation could be provided. Recently, results from 2 phase III randomized clinical trials demonstrating that a combination of docetaxel plus prednisone can improve survival in men with HRPC have propelled docetaxel-based therapy into the forefront of treatment options for these patients as the new standard of care. There is a promising activity of new drug combinations such as taxanes plus vinca alkaloids; bisphosphonates are assuming a prominent role in prostate therapy through their ability to prevent skeletal morbidity. Combinations of classic chemotherapeutic agents and biological drugs began to be tested in phase II-III trials and the first results appear interesting. This article focuses on combinations recently evaluated or under clinical development for the treatment of HRPC.

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