Management of prostate cancer. Part 3: metastatic disease

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Despite the increased detection of prostate cancer at an early stage, men are still dying of this disease. Management of advanced disease focuses on controlling the disease process, palliation of symptoms and improving quality of life. In this review, the basis for androgen deprivation in hormone-dependent disease is discussed and the role of maximum and intermittent androgen deprivation, as well as management options for hormone-refractory disease is addressed. Local radiotherapy continues to be of importance in pain control and the maintenance of quality of life. Radiopharmaceuticals and bisphosphonates also have a role to play, the latter particularly in the reduction of skeletal-related events. Chemotherapy in hormone-refractory disease is now well established following pivotal trials demonstrating a survival benefit with docetaxel. The emergence of novel agents targeting growth factors, angiogenesis and immunotherapy present exciting possibilities for future treatment.

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