Intermittent versus continuous androgen suppression therapy: do we have consensus yet?

N. C. Buchan, S. L. Goldenberg


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been a cornerstone in the management of advanced prostate cancer for more than 50 years, but several aspects of the therapy remain controversial. Research since the mid-1980s has looked at the use of intermittent androgen suppression (IAS) as a way to reduce the side effects and costs of continuous androgen suppression. During that same time, testing for prostate-specific antigen resulted in forward stage migration both at diagnosis and at the time of treatment initiation. Earlier treatment has led to prolonged periods of ADT and increasing recognition of the resultant metabolic complications. With preclinical evidence suggesting a potential benefit for IAS in terms of time to androgen independence, with phase II and III studies producing optimistic results, and with the potential for reductions in cost and complications, IAS has become a popular modality of therapy around the globe. Large prospective randomized studies, currently ongoing, will ultimately determine the legitimate place of IAS in the treatment of prostate cancer.

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)