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Cancer. 1986 Jul 1;58(1):183-6.

Influence of nandrolone decanoate on weight loss in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.


The short term addition of nandrolone decanoate to combination chemotherapy given to patients with unresectable non-small cell lung cancer was evaluated in a randomized, prospective trial. Patients were treated with doxorubicin 50 mg/M2 intravenously, cyclophosphamide 300 mg/M2 intravenously, CCNU 50 mg/M2 orally, vincristine 1.4 mg/M2 intravenously, with and without cisplatin 50 mg/M2 intravenously, all given every 28 days. In addition, patients were randomized to receive either nandrolone decanoate 200 mg intramuscularly weekly for 4 weeks or no additional therapy. Patient age, disease extent, performance score, and pretreatment weight loss were similar in the two treatment arms. Objective antitumor response frequency was comparable on both treatment arms with median survival somewhat longer for patients receiving the androgen (median survival 5.5 months without and 8.2 months with nandrolone decanoate). There was a trend for less severe weight loss on the nandrolone decanoate arm (average weight loss 0.8 +/- 0.15 kg versus 0.21 +/- 0.18 kg, respectively), with half as many patients experiencing weight loss on nandrolone decanoate (25% versus 12%). A separate concurrent study has demonstrated decreased free testosterone levels in 66% of patients with advanced cancer studied prior to chemotherapy treatment, therefore, further prospective studies in which pretreatment testosterone levels are used to guide androgen administration are needed to define more precisely a role for androgen replacement therapy in non-small cell lung cancer.

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