August 1st 1997
In 1941, Charles Huggins, Clarence Hodges, and R. E. Stevens reported on the beneficial effects of orchiectomy in 21 men with advanced prostate cancer. Fifty-five years later, Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) investigators were able to confirm, in a 1,387-patient intergroup comparative trial of bilateral orchiectomy with or without flutamide (Eulexin), that we still have nothing better to offer these men. This fact alone should underscore the critical need for well-planned, well-executed clinical trials in prostate cancer. The incidence and death rates continue to rise, and even today too few men are being enrolled in studies designed to alter these statistics.