Palliation of bone pain can be achieved in men with androgen-independent prostate cancer treated with docetaxel and estramustine (DE) or mitoxantrone and prednisone (MP). While Southwest Oncology Group trial 99-16 demonstrated a survival improvement of DE over MP, the study also was designed to compare the palliation of disease-related symptoms.
Pain palliation and global quality of life (QOL) were the two primary patient-reported outcomes. Pain was measured with the Present Pain Intensity scale of the McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (QLQ-C30) and its Prostate Cancer Module (PR25) measured QOL and symptom status. Pain and analgesic use were measured at random assignment, every cycle for eight cycles, and 1 year from random assignment; the QLQ-C30 and the PR25 were administered at random assignment, before cycle four (week 10) and cycle eight (month 6) and at 1 year. In addition to the primary intent-to-treat, missing at random analysis, sensitivity analyses were performed to assess robustness of global QOL conclusions under alternative informative missing data assumptions.
Six hundred seventy four eligible patients received DE (n = 338) or MP (n = 336). In an intention-to-treat analysis, median overall survival was 17.5 months for the DE arm and 15.6 months for the MP arm (P = .02). There were no statistically significant differences in pain palliation between the treatment arms. The sensitivity analyses showed a consistent lack of statistically significant global QOL differences for the two arms.
DE had superior clinical efficacy (overall survival, time-to-progression, and prostate-specific antigen declines) with similar global QOL and pain palliation in the MP arm.