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Acta Oncol. 2013 Nov;52(8):1593-601. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2013.770164. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Population-based study on use of chemotherapy in men with castration resistant prostate cancer.

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Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg , Sweden.



Chemotherapy prolongs life and relieves symptoms in men with castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). There is limited information on a population level on the use of chemotherapy for CRPC.


To assess the use of chemotherapy in men with CRPC we conducted a register-based nationwide population-based study in Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden (PCBaSe) and a nationwide in-patient drug register (SALT database) between May 2009 and December 2010. We assumed that men who died of prostate cancer (PCa) underwent a period of CRPC before they died.


Among the 2677 men who died from PCa during the study inclusion period, 556 (21%) had received chemotherapy (intravenous or per oral) detectable within the observation period in SALT database. Specifically, 239 (61%) of men < 70 years had received chemotherapy, 246 (30%) of men between 70 and 79 years and 71 (5%) men older than 80 years. The majority of men 465/556 (84%) had received a docetaxel-containing regimen. Among chemotherapy treated men, 283/556 (51%) received their last dose of chemotherapy during the last six months prior to death. Treatment with chemotherapy was more common among men with little comorbidity and high educational level, as well as in men who had received curatively intended primary treatment.


A majority of men younger than 70 years with CRPC were treated with chemotherapy in contrast to men between 70 and 79 years of whom half as many received chemotherapy. Chemotherapy treatment was often administered shortly prior to death. The low uptake of chemotherapy in older men with CRPC may be caused by concerns about tolerability of treatment, as well as treatment decisions based on chronological age rather than global health status.

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