Continuous Hormone Therapy Better for Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer

Men with metastatic prostate cancer lived longer with continuous hormone therapy compared with intermittent therapy.

In an international phase 3 trial, men with metastatic prostate cancer lived longer with continuous hormone therapy compared with intermittent therapy (5.8 years compared with 5.1 years). However, men with minimal metastases had an even greater benefit—nearly a two-year survival advantage.

The trial included more than 1,500 men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer who were randomly assigned to receive intermittent or continuous hormone therapy. Prostate cancer can be fueled by androgens, such as testosterone, so hormone therapy is used to disrupt androgen production and stop the cancer’s growth. But because of the side effects of hormone therapy, which include reduced sexual drive and potency, hot flashes and weight gain, some doctors recommend intermittent treatment.

This new study shows that, despite the side effects, continuous treatment is more effective in men with less disease spread and comparably effective for those with more metastases.