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Hormone-refractory prostate cancer: a primer for the primary care physician
Department of Oncology, University of Western Ontario and London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario, Canada
Aug  2008 (Vol.  15, Issue  41, Pages( 14 - 20)
PMID: 18700061


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    To provide a current and evidence-based clinical review of practical value to primary care physicians encountering men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) in their practice. METHODS: Evidence-based narrative review by two expert clinicians incorporating results of systematic reviews and randomized trials whenever available.


    HRPC represents the final common pathway to death from prostate adenocarcinoma, the single most prevalent cancer in Canadian men. However, primary care physicians will not encounter these patients with a frequency adequate to develop confidence in their care. HRPC is defined by progressive disease despite castration, and biologically is a characterized by androgen hypersensitivity. It is important to understand that HRPC is a disease spectrum ranging from asymptomatic patients with only a rising prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) level and a prognosis measured in years to extremely symptomatic patients with widespread metastases requiring end-of-life care. Numerous effective management options are now available for HRPC and are selected based on the phase of the disease natural history, and patient comorbidities and preferences.


    Men with HRPC have therapeutic options that can improve and maintain both the quality and quantity of their lives. A co-management approach including a medical oncologist and the patient's urologist and primary care physician is preferred.