Chemotherapy appears to have more significant survival benefits for men who are newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and have not yet done hormone therapy (referred to as “hormone sensitive”).
Research also suggests that when chemotherapy is given at the same time as hormonal therapy, it can help make the hormonal therapy more effective. “Chemotherapy appears to help delay the development of resistance to the hormone treatment,” explains Dr. Pomerantz. “This prolongs response time and delays the progression of the cancer.”
A landmark study from 2015 found that men with newly diagnosed metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer lived nearly 14 months longer when they received a chemotherapy drug along with hormone therapy compared with those who received hormone therapy alone. (3)
A variety of chemotherapy known as platinum-based chemotherapy is currently being studied for use in metastatic prostate cancer patients. These drugs include:
“While studies done with these drugs so far have been of limited size, platinum appears to be helpful for a subtype of prostate cancer patients with BRCA1 and 2 mutations,” explains Pomerantz.
Patients with advanced disease who are not responding to standard chemotherapy can talk to their doctors about whether they might be candidates for platinum chemotherapy. While platinum chemotherapy is not yet approved for prostate cancer treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under specific situations, it can sometimes be considered by doctors for patients with advanced prostate cancer. (4)
Learn More About Treating Metastatic Prostate Cancer