Flutamide withdrawal syndrome: Its impact on clinical trials in hormone- refractory prostate cancer
Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
Discontinuation of flutamide was associated with a significant decrease in PSA values in 10 of 25 patients (40%; 95% confidence interval, 21% to 59%) and clinical improvement in a subset of patients who had an initial response, but later progressive disease on combined androgen blockade. A trial of flutamide withdrawal should be considered in patients progressing on total androgen blockade before the initiation of more toxic therapies. It is likely that flutamide withdrawal has contributed to the observed responses in phase II trials of both second-line hormonal therapies and new cytotoxic agents. Future phase II trials in hormone-refractory prostatic cancer must control for this observation, and insure that progression off flutamide is documented before initiation of alternative treatment.