Objectives: To assess and compare the quality of life of men with advanced prostate cancer who are in remission receiving treatment with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist and flutamide or who are in progression.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey to measure health-related quality of life in a cohort of 113 patients with metastatic prostate cancer, 60 in remission and 53 with disease progression, using a battery of questionnaires, including the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Health Survey SF-36, and a prostate cancer-specific module.
Results: Patients in remission receiving an LHRH agonist and flutamide reported a significantly better quality of life compared with patients with disease progression (P < 0.011). Men with hormone-sensitive cancer had significantly less bodily pain, more vitality, more social interactions, and better mental health than patients with hormone-resistant disease. No differences were noted between the two groups concerning treatment-related problems such as diarrhea, constipation, urinary symptoms, sexual function, sexual satisfaction or hot flashes, although men in remission tended to rate each of these items more favorably than did men with disease progression. Men in remission have a health-related quality of life that is similar to an equivalent norm for men in the United States general population as compared with men with disease progression, who demonstrate significant compromise in all domains measured.
Conclusions: Patients in remission receiving an LHRH agonist and flutamide have a quality of life that is indistinguishable from a matched male population without prostate cancer and a quality of life significantly better than that of men with androgen-resistant disease. Among patients who respond to total androgen ablation, flutamide and an LHRH agonist provide significant, measurable benefits to recipients independent of any possible improvement in longevity.