Update on the Third Annual Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Congress

By Christin Melton
Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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After the American Society of Clinical Oncology folded its prostate-specific symposium into an annual meeting on all genitourinary cancers, ArcMesa Educators recognized the need to develop a dedicated program for oncologists, urologists, and other medical professionals who specialize in treating patients with prostate cancer. In 2008, the organization planned, founded, and sponsored the first Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Congress (IPCC). The IPCC was offered as a continuing medical education (CME) program, with attendance granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The majority of participants were from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and included 20 medical oncologists, 10 radiation oncologists, 33 urologists, and 7 primary care physicians. The inaugural conference was well received, with at least 40 registrants on the waiting list, attesting to the demand for prostate-specific educational programming. After the symposium, one physician commented, “I attended other meetings on prostate cancer and they’re all more or less the same, but this one was interesting, relevant, and offered practical insight.”

Judy Lum, MPA, president of ArcMesa, explained that the goal of the IPCC is “to address the therapeutic approaches and patient management in a time of evolving multi-modal therapies and shifting treatment paradigm.” Acquainting physicians with the latest developments in prostate cancer, she noted, is an essential component of improving outcomes for patients with this disease.

The Second Annual IPCC in 2009 consisted of a roundtable discussion involving six renowned US prostate cancer experts. They reviewed some of the year’s recent developments in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer to identify those most relevant to community-based physicians. The topics they identified at the meeting will form the core areas of discussion at the upcoming Third Annual IPCC: “Translating Advances into Clinical Practice,” to be held in New York City on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

The roundtable meeting was led by IPCC committee co-chairs Leonard G. Gomella, MD, Bernard W. Godwin Professor of Prostate Cancer, chairman of the Urology Department, and associate director of Clinical Affairs for the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Daniel P. Petrylak, MD, director of the Prostate Cancer Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor of medicine at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The discussants agreed on several key areas to highlight at the Third Annual IPCC. One topic will be risk reduction, to include data from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT ), and the Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer (REDUCE) study. Oliver Sartor, MD, professor, departments of medicine and urology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, was also in attendance, and he said new data on prospective randomized screening should also feature in the discussions. Given the conflicting data released last year on the risks versus rewards of prostate cancer screening, the roundtable agreed on the need to address this issue.

With the pending approval of Provenge and a number of other vaccines in development, such as ProstVac, immunotherapy was seen as another area where education was essential. “The time is right for a good immune therapy discussion,” said Petrylak. “The questions I think a lot of clinicians will have will concern when to use it: What’s the right time, when do you start it, and when do you start alternative therapies afterward?”

Howard M. Sandler, MD, MS, Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics, professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, offered to speak on advances in radiation technology at the upcoming IPCC. “There is a knowledge gap among oncologists about the new technologies, and I think it’s a fun talk,” Sandler said. Some of the specific technologies he plans to address are Cyberknife and image-guided radiation therapy, including the Calypso system.

This led to a discussion on targeted focal therapy, such as cryoablation and hydroelectrofluoration. David Crawford, MD, professor of Surgery and Radiation Oncology, head of the Section on Urologic Oncology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, volunteered to present this lecture at the Third Annual IPCC.

Managing hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer and the evolving role of systemic chemotherapy will be other featured topics. The use of novel therapeutics in managing castrate metastatic prostate cancer, such as androgen receptor therapeutics and new isotopes, is expected to be a major area of discussion, with data from multiple studies to address.

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