Background: Patients with prostate cancer generally respond to androgen ablation therapy, but progression to androgen-independence is frequently observed. To further evaluate disease progression, the pattern of progression and survival in hormonally treated metastatic prostate cancer was examined.
Methods: One hundred and ninety-three patients with untreated metastatic prostate cancer (TxNxM ) who received endocrine therapy between 1986 and 1995 were included in the present study. The pattern of progression was evaluated in these patients.
Results: One hundred and eighteen of the 193 patients (61.1%) had disease progression: 33 had local progression, 73 had distant progression and 12 had distant with local progression. Patients with only local progression had a longer interval to disease progression and longer survival than those with distant progression. The interval from disease progression to death in patients with local progression was longer than in those with distant progression. The patients whose prostate-specific antigen (PSA) had not been normalized 3 months after the start of endocrine therapy had a tendency to progression either into the prostate or into distant sites. Patients with extent of disease (EOD) scores of 3 and 4 progress, especially to distant sites, after endocrine treatment.
Conclusions: In untreated metastatic prostate cancer, patients with a poor response of PSA levels and patients with a high volume of bone metastasis (i.e. EOD 3, 4) were in the high-risk group for progression, especially to distant sites. Progression into distant sites was a poor prognostic factor for patients with recurrence to endocrine therapy.