Although some quality of life criteria may be improved, intermittent androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) may not be inferior to continuous ADT in prolonging survival in men with advanced or recurrent prostate cancer, according to a recent study published online ahead of print in JAMA Oncology.1

Researchers led by Sindy Magnan, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, conducted a systematic meta-analysis of 22 articles published between 2000 and 2013, which included 15 randomized trials – a total of 6,856 patients – in order to examine the efficacy and tolerability of intermittent vs continuous ADT in the treatment of prostate cancer.

With primary outcomes being overall survival and quality of life, the researchers calculated hazard ratios in order to determine noninferiority between the two treatment options.

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They found no significant difference between intermittent and continuous therapy in terms of overall, cancer-specific, and progression-free survival.

However, they observed a minimal difference in patients’ self-reported quality of life in that most trials found an improvement in physical and sexual functioning with intermittent therapy.

“Intermittent ADT can be considered as an alternative option in patients with recurrent or metastatic prostate cancer,” the authors concluded.


  1. Magnan S, Zarychanski R, Pilote L, et al. Intermittent vs continuous androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. [published online ahead of print September 17, 2015]. JAMA Oncology.  doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2895.