(HealthDay News) — Chemotherapy at the start of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) can extend the lives of men with metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, according to research published online August 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Christopher Sweeney, MB, BS, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned 790 men with prostate cancer, average age 63, to ADT plus docetaxel or ADT alone.

Over nearly 29 months of follow-up, men with advanced prostate cancer who received the combination therapy lived almost 14 months longer than men who received only ADT (57.6 vs. 44.0 months). In addition to the survival benefit, men who received the combination of docetaxel and ADT remained progression-free for 20.2 months, compared with 11.7 months among those who only received ADT.

Sweeney told HealthDay that side effects of the chemotherapy were mild, in general. Fatigue, neutropenia, and infection were the most common side effects, the study authors found. One man died from an unknown cause, though the researchers said the death may have been due to the chemotherapy.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi, which provided the docetaxel for the study.

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