Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Primary management of advanced (stage D) adenocarcinoma of the prostate is androgen ablation. Since this principle was discovered in the early 1940s, therapeutic alternatives and "progress" have centered around different ways to obtain castrate levels of androgens. The role of adrenal androgens in supporting prostate or prostatic cancer growth has been debated for decades and until recently was believed to be minimal. In the 1980s the concept of maximum androgen suppression, involving both the testes and adrenal glands, was reintroduced with some investigators claiming exceptional results. We review studies that have examined this concept, with emphasis on the largest trial which was carried out by the National Cancer Institute.