A total of 37 selected patients with clinical stage T2b or T3 prostate cancer received androgen deprivation prior to radical retropubic prostatectomy. A luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analog alone was given to 15 individuals; 19 received an LHRH analog with flutamide. Three underwent bilateral orchiectomy instead of chemical castration. The duration of androgen deprivation prior to radical prostatectomy varied from 3 to 16 months, with 31 individuals undergoing induction therapy for 3-6 months. Three received androgen deprivation for more than 1 year. In all, 15 patients had clinical stage T2b disease and 22, stage T3 prostate cancer. The prostate size decreased approximately 30%-50% following induction therapy. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values decreased in all 19 instances where this was obtained. In all, 6 of 15 (40%) patients with clinical T2b lesions and 9 of 22 (41%) with clinical T3 tumors had a positive surgical margin; 5 (13%) had 1 or more positive lymph nodes. Androgen deprivation was continued following surgery in 13 cases. Only one patient received postoperative radiation therapy. After a mean follow-up period of 33 months, 35 (95%) patients are alive. Two patients died, one of poorly differentiated prostate cancer with subsequent metastasis and one of a myocardial infarction 33 months after surgery without showing any evidence of disease. Of 23 patients without postoperative adjuvant therapy, 6 (26,1%) progressed (PSA level, >0.4 ng/ml). None of the patients who underwent adjuvant therapy progressed over a follow-up period of 6-75 months (mean, 38 months). Although the low incidence of positive lymph nodes and the apparent reduction in tumor size after androgen deprivation are encouraging, the benefits of this approach must await the completion of ongoing randomized trials.
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