Docetaxel chemotherapy is the current standard of care for metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). Platinum chemotherapy drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin, have moderate single-agent activity in HRPC. Next-generation platinum drugs, including satraplatin and oxaliplatin, may have additional activity in the management of HRPC. Furthermore, neuroendocrine differentiation may play a role in disease progression, providing a rationale for platinum-based chemotherapy in the management of HRPC. The authors reviewed the MEDLINE database for reports related to platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced prostate cancer and evaluated studies that reviewed the role of neuroendocrine differentiation in the progression of HRPC. Older studies from the 1970s and 1980s suggested a lack of activity of cisplatin and carboplatin; however, those studies were flawed at least in part by their methods of response assessment. More recent Phase II studies of carboplatin suggested a moderate level of clinical and palliative activity when it was used as a single agent. However, when carboplatin was combined with a taxane and estramustine, high response rates were observed in several recent clinical trials. In addition, a randomized trial suggested that satraplatin plus prednisone improved progression-free survival compared with prednisone alone. For patients who progressed after docetaxel, no standard options existed in the literature that was reviewed. Several preliminary reports suggested that carboplatin and oxaliplatin may have activity as second-line chemotherapy. Platinum chemotherapy drugs historically have been considered inactive in HRPC, although a review of the data suggested otherwise. Carboplatin, in particular, induced very high response rates when it was combined with estramustine and a taxane, but it also appeared to have activity in patients who progressed after docetaxel. Satraplatin plus prednisone is being investigated in a large Phase III trial as second-line chemotherapy for HRPC. Targeting neuroendocrine cells may provide a new therapeutic approach to HRPC.
(c) 2007 American Cancer Society.