What Is Hormone Refractory Prostate Cancer?

Dr. Matthew Smith answers the question: 'Hormone Refractory Prostate Cancer?'

March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is hormone refractory prostate cancer?

Answer: Nearly all men respond to initial treatment with hormone therapy. Accordingly, prostate cancer is referred to as a hormone sensitive disease. The problem that many, many encounter though, is that their disease will eventually progress despite hormone therapy and that condition is termed hormone refractory prostate cancer.

The average time from initiation of treatment to progression of disease can vary widely from a few years in the setting of men with widespread metastatic disease at initiation of treatment, to a much longer period of response in men who initiate therapy for earlier staged disease.