Dr. Dreicer on Utilizing New Prostate Cancer Therapies

Dr. Robert Dreicer, from the Cleveland Clinic, on Utilizing New Prostate Cancer Therapies

Robert Dreicer, MD, MS, chairman of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology at the Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, discusses issues that are delaying the utilization of new therapies to treat patients with prostate cancer.

The majority of issues are a direct result of limited data, Dreicer notes. Concerns exist over the optimal time to start or stop therapy and possible side effects, which are still widely unknown.

Each new agent carries its own toxicity profile without much data available that compares one drug to another or in combination. For instance, many of the abiraterone-based agents require administration with a steroid, while MDV3100 does not. The addition of a steroid impacts the toxicity profile and complicates comparisons to other agents. Additionally, some of the downstream effects of these new agents are still unknown, and are required to drive the decision process.

Dreicer adds that until more data is available that compares the side effects and treatment options, a large factor in the decision process will be costs. An evidence-based comparison of benefits, side effects, and costs is needed to make the most effective decision.