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The role of chemotherapy in advanced prostate cancer
Department of Medicine, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Jun  2002 (Vol.  9, Issue  31, Pages( 21 - 25)


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  • The development of hormone resistance is an unfortunate final common pathway in most patients with advanced prostate cancer, resulting in a narrowing of therapeutic options for the clinician, and limited median survival of 10-12 months for the patient. While cytotoxic chemotherapy has been utilized for many years, its efficacy has been disappointing. Quality of life assessments are increasingly used in assessing response in hormone-resistant prostate cancer (HRPC), and PSA has emerged as an important surrogate marker of response in both local and advanced disease. Estramustine and the taxanes have been investigated, as monotherapy and in combination, in the treatment of HRPC in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, a number of which are ongoing. Substantial advances in the management of HRPC over the past decade have led to renewed optimism that improvement in survival can be achieved, and support the belief that chemotherapy plays a role in this pursuit. In tandem with the development of new agents, refined means of assessing response have been developed, and represent a key component of new research strategies in HRPC.