Background: The present study was undertaken mainly to investigate whether chemohormonal therapy with estramustine phosphate plus luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist has a more beneficial effect than the hormonal therapy with flutamide plus LHRH agonist for newly diagnosed patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
Methods: A total of 57 patients with metastatic prostate cancer aged 59–80 years (median 74 years) were entered in the study and were randomized to the treatment of estramustine phosphate (560 mg/day) plus LHRH agonist (estramustine group) or flutamide (375 mg/day) plus LHRH agonist (flutamide group) with stratification for the degree of performance status, histological differentiation and bone metastasis.
Results: Both of the treatment regimens were well tolerated with similar incidences of adverse drug reactions. The overall response rates (complete response plus partial response) at 12 weeks after treatment in the estramustine and flutamide groups were 76 and 55%, respectively. The median time to objective progression for the estramustine group (25.4 months) was longer than that of the flutamide group (14.6 months). The serum levels of follicle stimulating hormone and testosterone were significantly lower in the estramustine group.
Conclusions: Chemohormonal therapy with estramustine phosphate plus LHRH agonist showed longer clinical progression-free survival than the hormonal therapy with flutamide plus LHRH agonist (P = 0.03), although there was no significant difference in the overall survival. A larger-scaled trial with more statistical power is required to clarify that the former regimen is more beneficial than the latter for newly diagnosed patients with advanced prostate cancer.