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Urology. 1997 Apr;49(4):580-6; discussion 586-9.

Comparison of in vitro effects of the pure antiandrogens OH-flutamide, Casodex, and nilutamide on androgen-sensitive parameters.

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Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology, CHUL Research Center, Quebec, Canada.



A combination of flutamide (Eulexin) or nilutamide (Anandron) with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist or orchiectomy is the only therapy demonstrated to prolong life in prostate cancer. Recently, the low 50-mg daily dose of Casodex, an analogue of the pure antiandrogen flutamide, was chosen for clinical studies on the basis that the compound was 5 to 10 times more potent than flutamide, as suggested by data obtained in the inappropriate intact rat model. The present study was designed to compare the in vitro antiandrogenic activity of OH-flutamide (OH-FLU), the active metabolite of flutamide, Casodex, and nilutamide.


The effect of the antiandrogens was tested on two androgen-sensitive parameters, namely proliferation of the SEM-107 clone of Shionogi mouse mammary tumor cells and secretion of the GCDFP-15 (gross cystic disease fluid protein 15 kDa) in T-47D and ZR-75-1 human breast cancer cells.


The twofold stimulation of Shionogi cell proliferation caused by a 10-day exposure to 1 nM testosterone was competitively reversed by incubation with OH-FLU, Casodex, or nilutamide, at the respective IC50 values of 72, 243, and 412 nM. Moreover, the marked increase in GCDFP-15 release induced by 1 nM testosterone was blocked by OH-FLU. Casodex, or nilutamide at respective IC50 values of 29, 180, and 87 nM in T-47D cells and at 35, 142, and 75 nM in ZR-75-1 cells. Similar data were detected in 4-androstenedione-induced Shionogi cell proliferation and in dihydrotestosterone-induced GCDFP-15 secretion in T-47D cells.


OH-FLU is 3.1- to 7.8-fold more potent than Casodex, as measured on two in vitro androgen-sensitive parameters, in agreement with our recent in vivo data obtained in the model of castrated rats supplemented with 4-androstenedione implants, in which threefold greater potency of flutamide was observed. The present data, as well as other data from the literature, strongly indicate the need to choose a more appropriate dose of Casodex for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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