Mark Klein, MD. The last few years, there have been several new trials in prostate cancer for people in a metastatic setting or more advanced local setting, such as the STAMPEDE, LATITUDE, and CHAARTED trials.1-4 In addition, recently a few trials have examined apalutamide and enzalutamide for people who have had PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels rapidly rising within about 10 months or so. One of the questions that arises is, how do we wrap our heads around sequencing these therapies. Is there a sequence that we should be doing and thinking about upfront and how do the different trials compare?
Julie Graff, MD. It just got more complicated. There was news today (December 20, 2018) that using enzalutamide early on in newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer may have positive results. It is not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but for patients who present with metastatic prostate cancer, we may have 4 potential treatments. We could have androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) alone, ADT plus docetaxel, enzalutamide, or abiraterone.
When I see patients in this situation, I talk to them about their options, the pros and cons of each option, and try to cover all the trials that look at these combinations. It can be quite a long visit. I talk to the patient about who benefits most, whether it is patients with high-risk factors or high-volume cancers. Also, I talk with the patient about all the adverse effects (AEs), and I look at my patients’ comorbid conditions and come up with a plan.
I encourage any patient who has high-volume or high-risk disease to consider more than just ADT alone. For many patients, I have been using abiraterone plus ADT. I have a wonderful pharmacist. As a medical oncologist, I can’t do it on my own. I need someone to follow patients’ laboratory results and to be available for medication questions and complications.
Elizabeth Hansen, PharmD. With the increasing number of patients on oral antineoplastics, monitoring patients in the outpatient setting has become an increasing priority and one of my major roles as a pharmacist in the clinic at the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, Ohio. This is especially important as some of these treatments require frequent laboratory monitoring, such as abiraterone with liver function tests every 2 weeks for the first 3 months of treatment and monthly thereafter. Without frequent-follow up it’s easy for these patients to get lost in the shuffle.
Abhishek Solanki, MD. You could argue that a fifth option is prostate-directed radiation for patients who have limited metastases based on the STAMPEDE trial, which we’ve started integrating into our practice at the Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.4
Mark Klein. Do you have a feel for the data and using radiation in oligometastatic (≤ 5 metastatic tumors) disease in prostate cancer and how well that might work?
Abhishek Solanki. The best data we have are from the multi-arm, multistage STAMPEDE trial systemic therapies and local therapy in the setting of high-risk localized disease and metastatic disease.6 The most recent publication looked specifically at the population with newly diagnosed metastatic disease and compared standard ADT (and docetaxel in about 18% of the patients) with or without prostate-directed radiation therapy. There was no survival benefit with radiation in the overall population, but in the subgroup of patients with low metastatic burden, there was an 8% survival benefit at 3 years.