• Forty-one men with metastatic breast cancer were treated with 70 trials of hormone therapy. These included 25 orchiectomies and 45 additive hormonal treatments. The overall response rate was 31%. The response rate was 32% to orchiectomy, 17% to estrogens, 43% to steroids, 25% to tamoxifen citrate, and 60% to androgens. The response to additive hormonal therapy was 31% and was not affected by prior orchiectomy (33% v 30%). Median overall response duration was 12 months, 17.5 months following orchiectomy, 8.5 months following additive hormonal therapy, five months following estrogens, 11 months following steroids, and eight months following androgens. Median survival from first metastasis was significantly prolonged in patients responding to orchiectomy and additive hormonal therapy. Patients with a disease-free interval (DFI) longer than 12 months had a 59% response rate to hormonal therapy compared with 9% of those with a DFI no more than 12 months. Response to one form of hormonal therapy did not predict later hormonal response. Ablative and additive hormonal therapy offer effective palliation to one third of male breast cancer patients, produce little toxic effects and morbidity, and improve survival duration after metastasis in responders.
(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:237-240)