Purpose: To evaluate the impact of androgen deprivation on health related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with asymptomatic lymph node positive prostatic carcinoma (LPPC).
Materials and methods: HRQOL domains were measured, using standard instruments in 91 patients with histologically proven LPPC. Most patients were randomized for immediate or deferred hormonal treatment until progression was observed. For analyses concerning the time to progression and survival the Kaplan-Meier method was used.
Results: Patients treated with androgen deprivation showed a significantly worse sexual, emotional, and physical function, experienced more hot flushes and a worse overall HRQOL, compared with patients receiving no therapy. Time to progression was significantly shorter in the deferred treated patients in comparison with the immediately treated patients (33 vs. 62 months, p<0.001). No significant differences were found with respect to the duration of survival.
Conclusion: Hormonally treated patients with asymptomatic LPPC have a worse HRQOL compared with patients receiving no therapy. The duration of survival was similar, whether patients received immediate or deferred hormonal treatment. Nowadays, with patients' preferences playing an increasingly important role in therapeutic decision making, physicians should be aware of this negative impact and ought to inform the patients on this.