Single and combination chemotherapy was compared in a clinical trial for men with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer who had received prior pelvic irradiation and had had progression of disease despite hormonal therapy. The 149 patients were randomized to receive estramustine phosphate or cis-platinum alone or in combination. Of the 149 patients 25 (17 per cent) were excluded from the study but 124 were evaluated for response and survival. Entry variables were distributed similarly among patients in each treatment arm. There were no complete or partial responders but there were nearly twice as many patients whose disease was stabilized (33 per cent) on the combination regimen compared to estramustine phosphate (18 per cent) and about a third more than for cis-platinum (21 per cent). Analysis for survival revealed some advantage for patients on combination therapy. Major toxicities for all treatments were nausea and vomiting (62 to 88 per cent) and accompanying anorexia (72 to 95 per cent). Azotemia developed in 45 per cent of the patients receiving combination therapy. In addition an elevation in serum creatinine occurred in 22 per cent of the patients receiving combination therapy and in 17 per cent of those receiving cis-platinum alone. Myelosuppression occurred infrequently.
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