Combined finasteride and flutamide therapy in men with advanced prostate cancer

David K. Ornstein, Ganesh S. Rao, Brooke Johnson, Elaine T. Charlton, Gerald L. Andriole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To evaluate the efficacy of combined finasteride and flutamide therapy in men with advanced prostate cancer by determining (1) the short-term tolerability of finasteride monotherapy and its effect on serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and hormone (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone) levels, and (2) the effects of the addition of flutamide on tolerability and on serum PSA and hormone levels. Methods. Thirteen hormone-naive men with advanced prostate cancer (4 with Stage D2, 1 with Stage D1, 1 with Stage DO, and 7 with rising PSA levels after radical prostatectomy [n = 2] or definitive radiation therapy [n = 5]) were initially treated with 5 mg finasteride daily. Flutamide (250 mg three times a day) was added after serum PSA levels stabilized. Results. Finasteride alone (median 5 weeks) had no significant effect on serum PSA levels (P > 0.05). Combined finasteride and flutamide resulted in a mean 91% reduction in serum PSA levels, with 85% of men achieving a nadir serum PSA level of less than 4.0 ng/mL and 46% achieving undetectable levels (0.2 ng/mL or less). Finasteride alone had no significant effect on serum testosterone levels (P >0.05) but did result in a mean 74% reduction in serum dihydrotestosterone levels. Combined finasteride and flutamide resulted in a mean 56% increase in serum testosterone levels but had no additional effect on serum dihydrotestosterone levels (P >0.05). Side effects occurred in 85% (gynecomastia or breast tenderness in 62% [8 of 13] and diarrhea in 23% [3 of 13]) of men on combined therapy. Potency was preserved in 66%. Combined finasteride and flutamide therapy was withdrawn from 15% (2 of 13) because of flutamide-induced diarrhea and from 23% (3 of 13) because of disease progression. All remaining patients (8 of 13) have serum PSA levels below 4.0 ng/mL and 4 of these 8 have undetectable levels. These men have received combined finasteride and flutamide for a median 11 months (range 6 to 19). Conclusions. Finasteride monotherapy is inadequate therapy for advanced prostate cancer, but combined finasteride and flutamide may be a reasonable alternative for men with advanced prostate cancer who refuse conventional hormone therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-905
Number of pages5
JournalUrology
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1996

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Combined finasteride and flutamide therapy in men with advanced prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this