This retrospective chart review study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of estramustine phosphate sodium hydrate (EMP) monotherapy in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and to determine who would benefit from EMP therapy. EMP was administered at a daily dose of 560 mg to 102 patients as a third-line therapy, who had already received combined androgen blockade (CAB) and subsequent alternative antiandrogen therapy. The responses to EMP after its induction and its toxicity were evaluated. We also analyzed the association between the clinicopathological factors of the patients and their responses to EMP therapy. A reduction in the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) 4 weeks after induction was observed in 70 patients (68.6 %), while 30 cases (29.4 %) achieved more than 50 % reduction of PSA. Long-term reduction of PSA from baseline for more than 6 months was observed in 31 patients (30.4 %). EMP treatment was discontinued in 11 patients (10.8 %) because of side effects (nausea in six patients, gynecomastia in three patients, eruption in one patient, and liver dysfunction in one patient). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that long duration of prior hormonal therapy was an independent favorable factor for reduced PSA levels, long responses, and overall survival. The data suggest that oral EMP administration as a third-line monotherapy is well tolerated and effective to some degree in patients with CRPC who have already received CAB and subsequent alternative antiandrogen therapy. Thus, EMP can be regarded as one treatment option, especially for patients whose prior duration of hormonal therapy was long.
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