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Intermittent Hormone Therapy Safe for Prostate Cancer

More studies needed to determine best way to use the treatment

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treating prostate cancer with intermittent hormone therapy is safe and can reduce morbidity, but prospective trials are needed to identify the best way to use the treatment, according to a review of phase II trials published in the May issue of BJU International.

Greg L. Shaw, of Cancer Research UK in London, and colleagues conducted a review of pooled phase II trial data from 10 studies with more than 50 subjects, providing data on 1,446 cases overall.

The investigators found that patients' initial prostate-specific antigen level and nadir were helpful in determining who could safely avoid radical treatment, and that the likelihood of progression to androgen-independent prostate cancer and death was associated with the length of time patients stayed in remission during intermittent hormone therapy. Patients spent about 39 percent of their time off therapy.

"The increasing evidence from randomized trials that intermittent hormone therapy is safe is supported by the present meta-analysis," the authors conclude, adding that prospective trials are needed to investigate the best way to treat prostate cancer with intermittent hormone therapy. "Our data suggest that the duration of remission is a useful early indicator of treatment success and could be used as an endpoint in these trials."

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