Increasing use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists for the treatment of localized prostate carcinoma

Vahakn B. Shahinian, Yong Fang Kuo, Jean L. Freeman, Eduardo Orihuela, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The role of androgen deprivation therapy in prostate carcinoma is controversial in earlier stages of disease. The authors examined the time trends and patterns of use for androgen deprivation in the form of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or orchiectomy, in population-based tumor registries. METHODS. Data were obtained from the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare database. A total of 100,274 men with prostate carcinoma diagnosed from 1991 through 1999 were selected. The main outcome was the proportion of men who received ≥ 1 dose of a GnRH agonist in the first 6 months of diagnosis. This was plotted by year and stratified for age, grade, stage as well as primary versus adjuvant usage. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine predictors of GnRH agonist use in the subset of patients with localized cancer. RESULTS. There was a consistent increase in GnRH agonist use by year for all ages, stages, and grades. Even in men ≥ 80 years with localized stage and low to moderate grade tumors, primary GnRH agonist use increased over the study period, from 3.7% in 1991 to 30.9% in 1999 (P < 0.001). The multivariable analysis showed that significant variability in GnRH agonist use existed among SEER geographic regions. CONCLUSIONS. The use of GnRH agonists for prostate carcinoma increased dramatically during the 1990s. This increase occurred across all stages and histologic grades of prostate carcinoma, and was greatest in patients ≥ 80 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1624
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005


  • Epidemiology and End Results program
  • Goserelin
  • Leuprolide
  • Medicare
  • Prostatic neoplasm
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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