Effectiveness of Complete versus Partial Androgen Withdrawal Therapy for the Treatment of Prostatic Cancer as Studied in the Dunning R-3327 System of Rat Prostatic Adenocarcinomas

John T. Isaacs, William J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Standard initial therapy for metastatic prostatic cancer involves surgical or chemically induced castration. Castration lowers the serum testosterone level by over 90% but does not completely eliminate all potential serum androgens (i.e., it induces a partial androgen withdrawal). This has led some investigators to suggest that a more complete form of androgen withdrawal in which the very low levels of serum androgens remaining after castration are neutralized by the simultaneous treatment with a direct acting antiandrogen (i.e., complete androgen withdrawal) might be more effective than simply castration alone. To determine whether complete androgen withdrawal is any more effective than partial androgen withdrawal therapy, the slow growing, well differentiated H and the fast growing, poorly differentiated G sublines of the serially transplantable Dunning R-3327 system of rat prostatic adenocarcinomas were used as a test system since both of these cancers are androgen responsive. These studies demonstrated that: (a) complete androgen withdrawal consisting of surgical castration in combination with daily treatment with the potent antiandrogen, cyproterone acetate, was no more effective in terms of tumor growth retardation or overall host survival than was partial androgen withdrawal induced by castration alone; (b) serum testosterone levels must be maintained below 0.5 ng/ml but do not have to be completely eliminated to produce the maximum therapeutic response; and (c) prostatic cancers are more sensitive than is the normal prostate to growth stimulation by serum testosterone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6041-6050
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Volume45
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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