Rapid androgen cycling as treatment for patients with prostate cancer

David Feltquate, Luke Nordquist, Caitlin Eicher, Michael Morris, Oren Smaletz, Susan Slovin, Tracy Curley, Andrew Wilton, Martin Fleisher, Glenn Heller, Howard I. Scher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the safety and feasibility of rapid androgen cycling for men with progressive prostate cancer. Experimental Design: Schedule 1 included a 4-week induction of androgen depletion, followed by 4-week treatment cycles of a monthly gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, testosterone on days 1 to 7, and an estrogen patch on days 8 to 21. Schedule 2 included a 12-week induction of androgen depletion followed by 4-week cycles of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist and testosterone, but no estrogens for patients with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadir <1 ng/mL after induction. The primary end point was serially declining PSA trough values over six treatment cycles. Results: Thirty-six patients were treated; 27 were evaluable after cycling, of whom 8 of 12 (67%) and 9 of 15 (60%) on schedules 1 and 2, respectively, reached the end point, five patients with PSA >1 ng/mL following induction did not cycle. No patient progressed radiographically or clinically during cycling. Three posttherapy PSA patterns were observed: a decline followed by a rapid increase in trough levels, a sustained decline with a plateau at a detectable nadir, and a decline to an undetectable nadir. Mean testosterone levels were castrate at the time of trough and in the normal physiologic range following androgen repletion. Major toxicities included grades 1 and 2 fatigue, hepatitis, gynecomastia, and hot flashes. Conclusions: Rapid hormonal cycling is feasible and well tolerated, and successive declines in PSA troughs are achievable. Although the sample size was small, the proportion of patients achieving declining PSA at the end of six cycles was comparable with that reached with continuous androgen depletion therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7414-7421
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006


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