Harvard Perspectives on Prostate Disease

Androgen-independent prostate cancer: A patient's story

For 13 years, Ken Gannon,* 68, has been battling prostate cancer. Despite undergoing a radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy, Gannon was diagnosed in 2003 with androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC), also known as hormone-refractory prostate cancer.† Primary hormone therapy was no longer keeping the disease in check.

Editor's notes:

*Although many patients request a pseudonym to protect their privacy, Ken Gannon and his wife, Linda, wanted to use their real names in this article. All medical details are as they reported. In keeping with editorial policy, the patient's physicians are not named without their consent.

†For an overview of androgen-independent prostate cancer, read the feature article "Androgen-independent prostate cancer."

Seeking to prolong his life — and possibly help his doctors find a drug that might heal other patients — Gannon began an odyssey through second-line hormone therapies, investigational drugs, and four clinical trials, one of which nearly killed him. Even so, Gannon's view of clinical trials hasn't soured, and he and his wife, Linda, both say he would willingly enroll in another one if it might yield some benefit.

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