Update in the management of patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: 2004 was a critical year for advances in prostate cancer treatment. The results from two pivotal multicenter phase III randomized studies are the first to demonstrate a survival benefit associated with chemotherapeutic treatment interventions in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer. This review will focus on an interpretation of the data from these two studies, the emerging role for chemotherapy in 2005 and beyond, and ongoing areas of clinical research. RECENT FINDINGS: Phase I and II studies have demonstrated biochemical and objective responses achieved with docetaxel-based chemotherapy in men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Two pivotal phase III clinical trials, TAX 327 and SWOG 9916 have demonstrated a survival advantage of docetaxel-based chemotherapy over mitoxantrone. Novel targeted therapies under investigation include calcitriol, growth factor-targeted agents, epothilones and others. SUMMARY: We now have a new standard of care for men with metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Further investigation of docetaxel-based regimens in earlier clinical states of disease is warranted and may demonstrate greater clinical benefit. Additional chemotherapy agents are being studied, and may also add to the future armamentarium available for prostate cancer. The enrolment of patients into these studies is critical to the ongoing evolution of prostate cancer management.
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