Newer methods of androgen ablation for the treatment of metastatic prostatic carcinomahave been developed as alternatives to the standard forms of therapy, oral estrogens and surgical castration. The purpose of this review is to elucidate the indications and to determine the role of ketoconazole in the management of metastatic prostatic cancer. Eighteen patients have been treated with ketoconazole. The indications for usage have included: prompt therapeutic response, when orchiectomy is contraindicated, when estrogens are contraindicated, initial empirical therapy, and hormonally refractory disease. It can also be used in conjunction with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogues. Ketoconazole is excellent for short-term usage prior to bilateral orchiectomy and when prompt therapeutic response is needed but orchiectomy cannot be performed. However, it is not particularly useful for long-term hormonal therapy.
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