Background: Intermittent androgen suppression (IAS) has been proposed as a method of delaying the onset of androgen-independent growth in prostate cancer. While several pilot studies have demonstrated the feasibility of such a treatment, no study to date has defined the effect of IAS on survival.
Methods: We developed an IAS protocol for mice bearing the LuCaP 23.12 human prostate cancer xenograft, with each cycle consisting of 1 week of androgen replacement with a testosterone pellet followed by 3 weeks of androgen withdrawal. Mice that responded to castration with a 40% or greater decrease in serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were randomized to treatment with either continuous androgen suppression (CAS) or IAS. Serum PSA, tumor volume, and overall survival were monitored.
Results: A total of 75 mice met the randomization criteria. There was no significant difference of survival between animals treated with CAS or IAS (185 vs. 239 days, P = 0.1835). Serum PSA showed evidence of cycling with hormonal manipulation. No cycling was noted in tumor volume.
Conclusions: IAS is not associated with a decrease in survival compared to CAS, yet in patients may offer quality-of-life improvements. Further studies of IAS in the setting of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved clinical trials should be encouraged. Prostate 43:63-70, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.