Flutamide withdrawal plus hydrocortisone resulted in clinical complete response in a patient with prostate carcinoma

William D. Figg*, Glenn Kroog, Paul Duray, McClellan M. Walther, Nicholas Patronas, Oliver Sartor, Eddie Reed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Combined androgen blockade (CAB) (medical or surgical castration plus antiandrogen therapy) is considered by many to be the optimal endocrine maneuver for patients with metastatic prostate carcinoma. When progression occurs after CAB, the discontinuation of the antiandrogen is recommended. The authors present a patient that had a clinical complete response to flutamide withdrawal plus hydrocortisone that, at last follow- up, had been maintained for more that 46 months. METHODS: A 71-year-old man with a positive family history of prostate carcinoma presented in 1989 with urinary frequency and a suspicious digital rectal examination. He was found to have a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (Gleason 4 + 4). He was started on CAB and his prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentration declined from 96 ng/mL to the normal range and was maintained for the next 24 months. In 1991 his PSA began to rise, and reached 64 ng/mL by 1993. The patient was enrolled on a clinical trial that discontinued the flutamide administration and hydrocortisone was initiated. RESULTS: Physical examination at the time to enrollment was unremarkable. His PSA declined to below the limits of detection after this maneuver and at last follow-up had been maintained there for more than 46 months. In 1995, the patient underwent a repeat biopsy of the prostate and all six tissue cores were negative for carcinoma. At las follow-up in December 1996, the patient had no evidence of disease and was being followed routinely; however, the authors were continuing treatment with testicular suppression (leuprolide) plus hydrocortisone. CONCLUSIONS: The authors believe the residual androgens and steroids produced by the adrenal cortex play a meaningful role in prostate carcinoma cell proliferation. Based on this case and data from trials supporting the activity of flutamide withdrawal plus adrenal suppression, it appears reasonable to evaluate prospectively the discontinuation of antiandrogen versus antiandrogen withdrawal plus adrenal suppression in individuals failing CAB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1968
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • androgen independent
  • hormone refractory
  • metastatic
  • prostate carcinoma


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