Introduction/Aims: Prostate cancer is a dynamic disease. Androgen ablation is palliative, and does not cure advanced prostate cancer. The hormone-sensitive cells die, and the hormone-resistant cells come into excess; the disease then progresses, which results in a deterioration of the condition of the patient. The theoretical basis of the curing strategy is the fact that the prostate tumour itself changes during the progression; the molecular determinants of the resistance are present in the varying stages of the disease. The treatment of advanced prostate cancer remains unsolved; it is a well-known fact that a hormone-resistant state develops after the primary treatment forms (androgen withdrawal). The drug of choice for the secondary treatment is estramustine. This can be utilized as monotherapy or in combination. Methods: In the present study, the results of estramustine treatment of 79 patients with advanced prostate cancer were evaluated. The preparation, known and clinically applied for more than 20 years, was studied in 12 centres. Results: The mean prostate-specific antigen level improved for 6 months, but rose from the 9th month on. The improvement in the subjective condition of the patients paralleled the change in the prostate-specific antigen level. The shortness of the improvement was a consequence of the very high prostate-specific antigen level and the poor general condition. Conclusions: Estramustine administration is recommended when the prostate-specific antigen level becomes more than doubled following the primary treatment. At a starting prostate-specific antigen level of >100 ng/ml, the treatment leads to total androgen blockade. If the prostate-specific antigen level has not decreased after treatment for 3 months, the secondary strategy is to apply chemotherapy.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2005|
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