Chemotherapy Treatment Extends Survival More than a Year in New Prostate Cancer Patients

Specialty Pharmacy Times, July/August 2014, Volume 5, Issue 4

Men with newly diagnosed metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer had their overall survival significantly extended through the use of a chemotherapy drug as initial treatment, according to a recent study.

The study, presented by scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group on June 1, 2014, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, enrolled 790 men newly diagnosed with metastatic disease and randomized the patients to receive androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) alone or ADT with chemotherapy drug docetaxel (Taxotere) over 18 weeks.

A total of 124 patients in the ADT-only group were given docetaxel when their cancer worsened, while 45 patients in the ADT-plus-docetaxel group received additional docetaxel when their disease progressed.

After 29 months, 136 patients in the ADT-only group died compared with 101 men in the group who received both drugs. The median overall survival was 57.6 months for patients receiving early chemotherapy compared with 44 months in the group where ADT was the only initial treatment.

In 520 patients whose disease spread to major organs and bones, treatment with ADT plus docetaxel provided a med-ian overall survival of 49.2 months versus 32.2 months in the ADT-only group.

“The benefit is substantial and warrants this being a new standard treatment for men who have high-extent disease and are fit for chemotherapy,” said Christopher J. Sweeney, MBBS, of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, in a press release. SPT