• retrospective study;
  • prostatic neoplasms;
  • natural history;
  • PSA;
  • survival analysis

Authors from the National Cancer Institute present a study which assessed the time to androgen independence and overall survival for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. They reported a longer than expected survival with androgen-independent prostate cancer, and make original observations on the time to metastatic disease for patients with no evidence of radiographic disease.

The new wave of chemotherapeutic agents for hormone-resistant prostate cancer has generated a new interest in producing more. Dr Cora Sternberg from Rome presents information on satraplatin, a third-generation orally available platinum analogue that shares more structural similarities with cisplatin. There are several other papers in this section on prostate bladder and renal cancer, and finally a paper from London on penile cancer, asking what surgical resection margins are required to achieve oncological control, and finding that the traditional 2 cm margin may be unnecessary, with excision margins of only a few millimetres needed to give excellent control.


To determine the natural history of patients with prostate cancer who start initial androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for biochemical failure with no radiographic evidence of disease (D0) or with radiographic metastatic disease (D2), as the history is either not well-defined or is changing, and such data are critical for guiding therapy after prostate cancer recurrence.


We retrospectively assessed the time to androgen-independence (AI), defined as the first sustained rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level on ADT, time to metastatic disease and overall survival for 80 patients with metastatic prostate cancer in clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute.


ADT was initiated after metastatic disease in 37 patients and before metastatic disease in 43 patients; in these 43 patients, the median time to developing metastatic disease on ADT was 37.8 months. The median time to AI from the initiation of ADT was 19.3 and 13.1 months in D0 and D2 patients, respectively. The median overall survival from the start of ADT was 89.0 and 63.0 months, and the median overall survival from the time of AI was 63.1 and 44.2 months in D0 and D2 patients, respectively. These 80 patients, which included 43 who had no metastatic disease when starting ADT, had a median survival of 54.8 months after AI prostate cancer.


We describe the natural history of AI prostate cancer in D0 patients who eventually developed metastasis, and in D2 patients. The results suggest a longer than expected survival with AI prostate cancer, and to our knowledge this is the first study to report the time to metastatic disease for D0 patients from ADT and from AI. These results can be used to help design clinical trials in patients with D0 prostate cancer.