Purpose: This phase II study was designed to assess the effects of mitoxantrone with prednisone in patients with metastatic prostate cancer who had progressed on hormonal therapy. The methods of assessment included quality-of-life analyses, pain indices, analgesic scores, and the National Prostatic Cancer Project (NPCP) criteria.
Patients and methods: Patients received mitoxantrone 12 mg/m2 intravenously every 3 weeks plus prednisone 10 mg orally daily. All had a castrate serum testosterone and Eastern Cooperation Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status < or = 3, and had not received prior chemotherapy. Every 3 weeks, analgesic intake was scored, and a present pain intensity (PPI) record and visual analog scale (VAS) describing pain were collected. Every 6 weeks, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) core quality-of-life questionnaire plus a prostate-specific module were completed. A palliative response was defined as a decrease in analgesic score by > or = 50% or a decrease in PPI by > or = two integers without any increase in the other.
Results: Twenty-seven patients were entered onto the study. Nine of 25 (36%) assessable patients achieved a palliative response maintained for > or = two cycles (range, two to eight or more). Improvements in mean PPI and VAS pain scores after each cycle of therapy (P < .05) were seen. Quality-of-life analysis showed improvements in social and emotional functioning, and in pain and anorexia. Using NPCP criteria, one patient achieved a partial response (PR) and 12 had stable disease; one of seven patients with measurable disease had a PR. No serious nonhematologic toxicity was experienced, and there were no episodes of febrile neutropenia.
Conclusion: Mitoxantrone with low-dose prednisone is a well-tolerated treatment regimen that has some beneficial effects on disease-related symptoms and quality of life for patients with advanced prostate cancer.