For those unwilling to undergo chemical castration however, results of an international study led by a Medical College of Wisconsin researcher show promise for an oral drug as an alternative. The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology.
"In patients with locally-advanced disease, a daily 150 mg dose of bicalutamide, (Casodex TM) following initial radiotherapy, has shown significant clinical benefits in terms of overall survival and progression-free survival, compared with radiotherapy alone," says study author William A See, M.D., chairman and professor of urology at the Medical College in Milwaukee, and chief of urologic surgery at Froedtert Hospital.
The double-blind, randomized study followed 1,370 early prostate cancer patients in the U.S., Sweden and Europe who received radiotherapy with curative intent. After a median follow-up of 7.2 years, the researchers found that those receiving a daily, 150 mg oral dose of Casodex TM reduced their risk of disease progression by 44 percent, and their overall risk of death by 35 percent, compared to those receiving a placebo.
"Although many of the adverse effects of castration therapy are manageable, they can have a detrimental effect on quality of life," says Dr. See "Here we have evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of a non-castration-based therapy, and found the survival rates to be similar."