The patient's choice of androgen-deprivation therapy in locally advanced prostate cancer: bicalutamide, a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue or orchidectomy


Jesper Andersen, Department of Urology, Söder Hospital, S 118 83 Stockholm, Sweden.



To investigate patient preference for three established androgen-deprivation therapies for locally advanced prostate cancer; the patient's capacity to decide his therapy; the reasons for selecting a certain mode of therapy; and patient satisfaction with the chosen therapy 3 months after initiation.


In all, 150 patients (mean age 75 years, range 57–89) with previously untreated locally advanced prostate cancer from 13 hospitals were consecutively given the chance to choose between the antiandrogenic oral drug bicalutamide, a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRH) by injection, or surgical orchidectomy. After discussing the nature of their disease the patients took home written information about prostate cancer and the three different treatment options. After 1 week they were assessed using a questionnaire for biographical data, their attitude towards the different treatment alternatives and their choice of therapy. Three months later the patients completed a questionnaire about the treatment they had undergone.


Sixty-three patients (42%) chose bicalutamide, 51 (34%) the GnRH analogue and 36 (24%) orchidectomy; 87% of those choosing bicalutamide, 84% GnRH and 94% orchidectomy, respectively, were sure about their choice but 12%, 17% and 3% of the patients, respectively, had some difficulty in deciding. The most important reasons for the therapy chosen were avoidance of injections and surgery, and a lower risk of impotence (bicalutamide), negative attitude to surgery and tablets (GnRH), and avoidance of injections and tablets (orchidectomy). Almost all patients (98%, 98% and 97%, respectively) were satisfied with their choice after 3 months of treatment.


There are three equally effective forms of androgen deprivation for locally advanced prostate cancer without known metastases. There are major differences among these treatments in the mode of application and the likelihood and impact of side-effects. When patients are fully informed and play an active role in the treatment decision they are satisfied with their decision 3 months later.