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To evaluate the activity of nilutamide as secondary hormonal therapy in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC), as treatment options are limited for these patients and secondary hormonal therapy with antiandrogens has advantages, including low toxicity, oral administration and high patient acceptance.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We retrospectively identified 45 patients with AIPC who were treated with nilutamide as secondary hormonal therapy in two institutions. The decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, side-effects of treatment, and the relationship between baseline characteristics, type and duration of previous therapy and response to nilutamide were assessed. Most patients received oral nilutamide at 150 mg/day.
Eighteen of 45 evaluable patients (40%) had a PSA level decrease of ≥ 50%. Responders (PSA decline ≥ 50%) had a median (range) time to progression of 4.4 (0.31–44.7) months. There were responses to nilutamide whether used as the second to fifth line of hormonal therapy. There were no differences in response to nilutamide based on clinical stage, type of local therapy, PSA level at diagnosis or initiation of nilutamide, or type of previous antiandrogen therapy. Responders were more likely to have received monotherapy with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogues or orchidectomy as first-line hormonal treatment (P = 0.02). The most common reversible adverse effects were mild to moderate visual adaptation effects, reported in 20% of patients.
Nilutamide appears to be an effective secondary hormonal therapy in patients with AIPC and is associated with a mild toxicity profile.