Why Chemotherapy Should be Given Early for Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Leonel F. Hernandez-Aya, Maha Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) is an incurable disease, and despite a high response rate to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), outcomes have not significantly changed for many decades. Earlier attempts at multitargeted strategies with the addition of cytotoxic chemotherapy to ADT did not affect survival. As more effective therapies are emerging, including cytotoxic therapy for patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), there is increasing interest for testing these drugs earlier in the disease course. The premise is that agents with clinical benefit in advanced mCRPC may have a better effect if used preemptively before the development of significant resistance and to attack earlier de novo androgen resistant/independent clones. The recent results of the phase III clinical trial E3805 investigating ADT with or without docetaxel in mHSPC provide compelling support for this strategy. Docetaxel combined with ADT significantly improved overall survival from 44 to 57.6 months (p=0.0003), particularly in patients with high-volume disease (from 32.2 to 49.2 months; p=0.0006). Longer follow-up is needed to assess the effect on patients with low disease burden. Further studies are needed to further maximize the antitumor effect in patients with mHSPC and to investigate the effects of advancing therapy to this disease setting on the efficacy of respective agents in the castration-resistant setting.


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