Frisk, J. (2010). Managing hot flushes in men after prostate cancer--a systematic review. Maturitas, 65(1), 15-22.doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.10.017
To describe hot flushes in men with prostate cancer and their treatment methods.
TYPE OF STUDY Systematic review
TOTAL REFERENCES RETRIEVED: 252
METHOD OF STUDY EVALUATION The Jadad score was used to assess the quality of the randomized controlled trial (RCT), on a five-point scale, and the QUORUM guidelines for systematic review were considered.
This summary did not include the measures that were used by the participants in reporting their hot flashes: i.e, diaries, skin temperature measurements, QOL surveys.
FINAL NUMBER STUDIED INCLUDED; N = 5 TOTAL SAMPLE SIZE: N = : 328 men were analyzed. SAMPLE RANGE ACROSS STUDIES : Sample sizes ranged from 12 - 177.
KEY SAMPLE CHARACTERISTICS: Samples included men with prostate cancer who had undergone surgical or medical castration and were currently experiencing hot flushes.
PHASE OF CARE Active Treatment
APPLICATIONS Late Effects and Survivorship; Elderly Care
In the five studies analyzed, the treatments that were studied included cyproterone acetate (CA), megestrol acetate (MA), gabapentin, transdermal clonidine, and diethylstilbestrol (DES). Unfortunately, none of the studies analyzed the same treatment. Because the studies looked at different interventions to relieve hot flushes (HF) in castrated men with prostate cancer, it was not possible to combine the studies to strengthen the outcomes. The studies' outcomes demonstrated varying degrees of success in relieving the hot flushes: Cyproterone acetate 100 mg, once per day, yielded 75% fewer HF than placebo (p<0.001), and 100% of men on CA had a 50% or greater reduction of mean number of HF, compared to placebo group. Megestrol acetate 20 mg, twice per day, yielded an 80% reduction of the median number of HF compared to a 19% reduction in the placebo group (p<0.001), an 87% reduction of median HF score vs. a 16% reduction for placebo (p<0.001), and a 50% or greater reduction of median number of HF (p<0.001) reported by 79% of MA group and 12% of placebo group. Gabapentin (4 schedules) achieved a 45.5% reduction of the median number of HF with 900mg gabapentin per day vs. 21.5% with placebo (p=0.02). Transdermal clonidine demonstrated no difference between the treated group and placebo. Diethylstilbestrol (1 mg) yielded a 100% reduction in the median number of HF vs.13% with placebo. 100% of DES and 14% of placebo reported a 50% or greater reduction of the median number of HF.
The systematic review of studies on treatment approaches to managing hot flushes in men after castration for prostate cancer showed very few such studies. Only five RCT studies were identified, and none of them analyzed the same treatment approach. Several of the studies that were presented demonstrated successful treatment approaches, including DES as the most effective, followed closely by MA and CA. However, these medications are linked to side effects that are not well tolerated by all patients.
Only five RCT studies were identified, and none of them analyzed the same treatment approach.
Large randomized placebo controlled studies are needed to clarify the data and provide clearer direction to managing HF in men who have been castrated as a treatment for prostate cancer. The summary, although providing insight for possible medical management, addressed only briefly the drop-out rates due to side effects. Further investigations of the drop-out subgroup could explore correlations among the medications to reveal unacceptable side effects in managing the participants’ hot flash symptoms. Further investigations comparing medications used and providing more specific information about measurements of QOL and hot flash reporting by participants are warranted.