Bicalutamide 150 mg plus standard care vs standard care alone for early prostate cancer

BJU Int. 2006 Feb;97(2):247-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2005.06051.x.


Objective: To evaluate, in the ongoing Early Prostate Cancer (EPC) trial programme, the efficacy and tolerability of bicalutamide 150 mg once daily in addition to standard care for localized or locally advanced, nonmetastatic prostate cancer.

Patients and methods: The EPC programme comprises three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials designed for combined analysis. Following standard care, 8113 men with localized (T1-2, N0/Nx) or locally advanced (T3-4, any N; or any T, N+) prostate cancer (all M0) received oral bicalutamide 150 mg once daily or oral placebo. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival.

Results: The large EPC trial programme is defining men who benefit or do not from early or adjuvant antiandrogen therapy. At a median follow-up of 7.4 years, in localized disease there is no benefit to PFS by adding bicalutamide to standard care, and there is a trend (hazard ratio, HR, 1.16; 95% confidence intervals, CI, 0.99-1.37; P = 0.07) towards decreased survival in patients otherwise undergoing watchful waiting. However, in locally advanced disease, bicalutamide significantly improved PFS irrespective of standard care. Bicalutamide significantly improved overall survival in patients receiving radiotherapy (HR 0.65; 95% CI 0.44-0.95; P = 0.03); this was driven by a lower risk of prostate cancer-related deaths. Bicalutamide produced a trend towards improved overall survival in patients with locally advanced disease otherwise undergoing watchful waiting (HR 0.81; 95% CI 0.66-1.01; P = 0.06). No survival difference was evident in the prostatectomy subgroup.

Conclusions: This ongoing programme is clarifying the role of early or adjuvant antiandrogen therapy in prostate cancer. Patients with localized disease do not appear to derive clinical benefit from added bicalutamide. However, adding bicalutamide 150 mg to standard care provides significant clinical benefits in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer, irrespective of primary therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Anilides / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nitriles
  • Prostatectomy / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tosyl Compounds


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Anilides
  • Nitriles
  • Tosyl Compounds
  • bicalutamide