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December 2016

Intermittent Androgen Deprivation Therapy—An Important Treatment Option for Prostate Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Urology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Division of Medical Oncology, Departments of Medicine and Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(12):1531-1532. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3138

Is there still a role for intermittent androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer?—Yes.

Intermittent androgen deprivation (IAD) therapy was first described in mid 1980s in a small pilot study of men with symptomatic, metastatic prostate cancer.1 Men underwent androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) with diethylstilbestrol until symptoms resolved, at which time therapy was withheld until symptomatic progression. The authors1 observed that sexual function returned in 9 of 10 patients who had normal erectile function at baseline. The conclusion was that IAD could adequately palliate symptomatic men and, at the same time, result in improved quality of life (QOL) by allowing return of sexual function in the majority with normal function at baseline.

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