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Treating the patient and not just the cancer: therapeutic burden in prostate cancer

Abstract

Background

Prostate cancer (PC) is a leading cause of death in older men. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is considered the standard-of-care for men with locally advanced disease. However, continuous androgen ablation is associated with acute and long-term adverse effects and most patients will eventually develop castration-resistant PC (CRPC). The recent approval of three, second-generation androgen receptor inhibitors (ARIs), apalutamide, enzalutamide, and darolutamide, has transformed the treatment landscape of PC. Treatment with these second-generation ARIs have produced positive trends in metastasis-free survival, progression-free survival, and overall survival. For patients with non-metastatic CRPC, who are mainly asymptomatic from their disease, maintaining quality of life is a major objective when prescribing therapy. Polypharmacy for age-related comorbidities also is common in this population and may increase the potential for drug–drug interactions (DDIs).

Method

This review summarizes the multiple factors that may contribute to the therapeutic burden of patients with CRPC, including the interplay between age, comorbidities, concomitant medications, the use of ARIs, and financial distress.

Conclusions

As the treatment landscape in PC continues to rapidly evolve, consideration must be given to the balance between therapeutic benefits and potential treatment-emergent adverse events that may be further complicated by DDIs with concomitant medications. Patient-centered communication is a crucial aspect of alleviating this burden, and healthcare professionals (HCPs) may benefit from training in effective patient communication. HCPs should closely and frequently monitor patient treatment responses, in order to better understand symptom onset and exacerbation. Patients also should be encouraged to participate in exercise programs, and health information and support groups, which may assist them in preventing or mitigating certain determinants of the therapeutic burden associated with PC and its management.

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Acknowledgements

Medical writing support was provided by Farzana Miah, MSc, of Scion, London, UK. Editorial support, including referencing, and proofreading was provided by Annabel Ola, MSc, of Scion, London, UK. All medical writing and editorial services were funded by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Whippany, NJ, USA) according to Good Publication Practice guidelines (Link). However, the ultimate responsibility for opinions, conclusions, and data interpretation lies with the authors.

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Correspondence to Daniel E. Spratt.

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DS has received grants from Janssen and personal fees from Janssen, Blue Earth, and AstraZeneca. NS has received personal fees from Amgen, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer, Dendreon, Ferring, Fergene, Janssen, Merck, Myovant, Nymox, Pfizer, Sanofi, Tolmar, Boston Scientific, and MDx Health. OS has received personal fees from AAA, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Blue Earth diagnostics, Bravarin Nordic, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Clovis, Constellation, Dendreon, EMD Serono, Endocyte, Pfizer, Progenics, Sanofi, Merck, Myriad, Noria Therapeutics, Noxopaharm, Point Biopharma, Tenebio, Theragnostics, Telix, Clarity Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and Janssen, and has received grants from AAA, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Endocyte, Progenics, Sanofi, Innocrin, Invitae, Merck, Novartis, Sotio and Janssen. KO reports consulting for Exelixis. DR declares no conflict of interest.

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Spratt, D.E., Shore, N., Sartor, O. et al. Treating the patient and not just the cancer: therapeutic burden in prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41391-021-00328-1

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