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Concept: Prostate-specific antigen

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Background The comparative effectiveness of treatments for prostate cancer that is detected by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing remains uncertain. Methods We compared active monitoring, radical prostatectomy, and external-beam radiotherapy for the treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer. Between 1999 and 2009, a total of 82,429 men 50 to 69 years of age received a PSA test; 2664 received a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer, and 1643 agreed to undergo randomization to active monitoring (545 men), surgery (553), or radiotherapy (545). The primary outcome was prostate-cancer mortality at a median of 10 years of follow-up. Secondary outcomes included the rates of disease progression, metastases, and all-cause deaths. Results There were 17 prostate-cancer-specific deaths overall: 8 in the active-monitoring group (1.5 deaths per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7 to 3.0), 5 in the surgery group (0.9 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.4 to 2.2), and 4 in the radiotherapy group (0.7 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.3 to 2.0); the difference among the groups was not significant (P=0.48 for the overall comparison). In addition, no significant difference was seen among the groups in the number of deaths from any cause (169 deaths overall; P=0.87 for the comparison among the three groups). Metastases developed in more men in the active-monitoring group (33 men; 6.3 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 4.5 to 8.8) than in the surgery group (13 men; 2.4 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.4 to 4.2) or the radiotherapy group (16 men; 3.0 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.9 to 4.9) (P=0.004 for the overall comparison). Higher rates of disease progression were seen in the active-monitoring group (112 men; 22.9 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 19.0 to 27.5) than in the surgery group (46 men; 8.9 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 6.7 to 11.9) or the radiotherapy group (46 men; 9.0 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 6.7 to 12.0) (P<0.001 for the overall comparison). Conclusions At a median of 10 years, prostate-cancer-specific mortality was low irrespective of the treatment assigned, with no significant difference among treatments. Surgery and radiotherapy were associated with lower incidences of disease progression and metastases than was active monitoring. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN20141297 ; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02044172 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Urology, Radiation therapy, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostate-specific antigen

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Background Apalutamide, a competitive inhibitor of the androgen receptor, is under development for the treatment of prostate cancer. We evaluated the efficacy of apalutamide in men with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who were at high risk for the development of metastasis. Methods We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial involving men with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and a prostate-specific antigen doubling time of 10 months or less. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive apalutamide (240 mg per day) or placebo. All the patients continued to receive androgen-deprivation therapy. The primary end point was metastasis-free survival, which was defined as the time from randomization to the first detection of distant metastasis on imaging or death. Results A total of 1207 men underwent randomization (806 to the apalutamide group and 401 to the placebo group). In the planned primary analysis, which was performed after 378 events had occurred, median metastasis-free survival was 40.5 months in the apalutamide group as compared with 16.2 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio for metastasis or death, 0.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23 to 0.35; P<0.001). Time to symptomatic progression was significantly longer with apalutamide than with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.63; P<0.001). The rate of adverse events leading to discontinuation of the trial regimen was 10.6% in the apalutamide group and 7.0% in the placebo group. The following adverse events occurred at a higher rate with apalutamide than with placebo: rash (23.8% vs. 5.5%), hypothyroidism (8.1% vs. 2.0%), and fracture (11.7% vs. 6.5%). Conclusions Among men with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, metastasis-free survival and time to symptomatic progression were significantly longer with apalutamide than with placebo. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; SPARTAN ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01946204 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Testosterone, Androgen, Placebo, Prostate-specific antigen

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Background Abiraterone acetate, an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor, improves overall survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer after chemotherapy. We evaluated this agent in patients who had not received previous chemotherapy. Methods In this double-blind study, we randomly assigned 1088 patients to receive abiraterone acetate (1000 mg) plus prednisone (5 mg twice daily) or placebo plus prednisone. The coprimary end points were radiographic progression-free survival and overall survival. Results The study was unblinded after a planned interim analysis that was performed after 43% of the expected deaths had occurred. The median radiographic progression-free survival was 16.5 months with abiraterone-prednisone and 8.3 months with prednisone alone (hazard ratio for abiraterone-prednisone vs. prednisone alone, 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45 to 0.62; P<0.001). Over a median follow-up period of 22.2 months, overall survival was improved with abiraterone-prednisone (median not reached, vs. 27.2 months for prednisone alone; hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.93; P=0.01) but did not cross the efficacy boundary. Abiraterone-prednisone showed superiority over prednisone alone with respect to time to initiation of cytotoxic chemotherapy, opiate use for cancer-related pain, prostate-specific antigen progression, and decline in performance status. Grade 3 or 4 mineralocorticoid-related adverse events and abnormalities on liver-function testing were more common with abiraterone-prednisone. Conclusions Abiraterone improved radiographic progression-free survival, showed a trend toward improved overall survival, and significantly delayed clinical decline and initiation of chemotherapy in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development, formerly Cougar Biotechnology; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00887198 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Androgen, Prostate-specific antigen

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Background Abiraterone acetate, a drug that blocks endogenous androgen synthesis, plus prednisone is indicated for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. We evaluated the clinical benefit of abiraterone acetate plus prednisone with androgen-deprivation therapy in patients with newly diagnosed, metastatic, castration-sensitive prostate cancer. Methods In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 1199 patients to receive either androgen-deprivation therapy plus abiraterone acetate (1000 mg daily, given once daily as four 250-mg tablets) plus prednisone (5 mg daily) (the abiraterone group) or androgen-deprivation therapy plus dual placebos (the placebo group). The two primary end points were overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival. Results After a median follow-up of 30.4 months at a planned interim analysis (after 406 patients had died), the median overall survival was significantly longer in the abiraterone group than in the placebo group (not reached vs. 34.7 months) (hazard ratio for death, 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51 to 0.76; P<0.001). The median length of radiographic progression-free survival was 33.0 months in the abiraterone group and 14.8 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.55; P<0.001). Significantly better outcomes in all secondary end points were observed in the abiraterone group, including the time until pain progression, next subsequent therapy for prostate cancer, initiation of chemotherapy, and prostate-specific antigen progression (P<0.001 for all comparisons), along with next symptomatic skeletal events (P=0.009). These findings led to the unanimous recommendation by the independent data and safety monitoring committee that the trial be unblinded and crossover be allowed for patients in the placebo group to receive abiraterone. Rates of grade 3 hypertension and hypokalemia were higher in the abiraterone group. Conclusions The addition of abiraterone acetate and prednisone to androgen-deprivation therapy significantly increased overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival in men with newly diagnosed, metastatic, castration-sensitive prostate cancer. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; LATITUDE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01715285 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cancer, Metastasis, Chemotherapy, Prostate cancer, Androgen, Placebo, Prostate-specific antigen

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Background Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with or without targeted biopsy, is an alternative to standard transrectal ultrasonography-guided biopsy for prostate-cancer detection in men with a raised prostate-specific antigen level who have not undergone biopsy. However, comparative evidence is limited. Methods In a multicenter, randomized, noninferiority trial, we assigned men with a clinical suspicion of prostate cancer who had not undergone biopsy previously to undergo MRI, with or without targeted biopsy, or standard transrectal ultrasonography-guided biopsy. Men in the MRI-targeted biopsy group underwent a targeted biopsy (without standard biopsy cores) if the MRI was suggestive of prostate cancer; men whose MRI results were not suggestive of prostate cancer were not offered biopsy. Standard biopsy was a 10-to-12-core, transrectal ultrasonography-guided biopsy. The primary outcome was the proportion of men who received a diagnosis of clinically significant cancer. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of men who received a diagnosis of clinically insignificant cancer. Results A total of 500 men underwent randomization. In the MRI-targeted biopsy group, 71 of 252 men (28%) had MRI results that were not suggestive of prostate cancer, so they did not undergo biopsy. Clinically significant cancer was detected in 95 men (38%) in the MRI-targeted biopsy group, as compared with 64 of 248 (26%) in the standard-biopsy group (adjusted difference, 12 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4 to 20; P=0.005). MRI, with or without targeted biopsy, was noninferior to standard biopsy, and the 95% confidence interval indicated the superiority of this strategy over standard biopsy. Fewer men in the MRI-targeted biopsy group than in the standard-biopsy group received a diagnosis of clinically insignificant cancer (adjusted difference, -13 percentage points; 95% CI, -19 to -7; P<0.001). Conclusions The use of risk assessment with MRI before biopsy and MRI-targeted biopsy was superior to standard transrectal ultrasonography-guided biopsy in men at clinical risk for prostate cancer who had not undergone biopsy previously. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the European Association of Urology Research Foundation; PRECISION ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02380027 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Medical imaging, Prostate cancer, Urology, Brain tumor, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Prostate-specific antigen

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Background Abiraterone acetate plus prednisolone improves survival in men with relapsed prostate cancer. We assessed the effect of this combination in men starting long-term androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), using a multigroup, multistage trial design. Methods We randomly assigned patients in a 1:1 ratio to receive ADT alone or ADT plus abiraterone acetate (1000 mg daily) and prednisolone (5 mg daily) (combination therapy). Local radiotherapy was mandated for patients with node-negative, nonmetastatic disease and encouraged for those with positive nodes. For patients with nonmetastatic disease with no radiotherapy planned and for patients with metastatic disease, treatment continued until radiologic, clinical, or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression; otherwise, treatment was to continue for 2 years or until any type of progression, whichever came first. The primary outcome measure was overall survival. The intermediate primary outcome was failure-free survival (treatment failure was defined as radiologic, clinical, or PSA progression or death from prostate cancer). Results A total of 1917 patients underwent randomization from November 2011 through January 2014. The median age was 67 years, and the median PSA level was 53 ng per milliliter. A total of 52% of the patients had metastatic disease, 20% had node-positive or node-indeterminate nonmetastatic disease, and 28% had node-negative, nonmetastatic disease; 95% had newly diagnosed disease. The median follow-up was 40 months. There were 184 deaths in the combination group as compared with 262 in the ADT-alone group (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 0.76; P<0.001); the hazard ratio was 0.75 in patients with nonmetastatic disease and 0.61 in those with metastatic disease. There were 248 treatment-failure events in the combination group as compared with 535 in the ADT-alone group (hazard ratio, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.34; P<0.001); the hazard ratio was 0.21 in patients with nonmetastatic disease and 0.31 in those with metastatic disease. Grade 3 to 5 adverse events occurred in 47% of the patients in the combination group (with nine grade 5 events) and in 33% of the patients in the ADT-alone group (with three grade 5 events). Conclusions Among men with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer, ADT plus abiraterone and prednisolone was associated with significantly higher rates of overall and failure-free survival than ADT alone. (Funded by Cancer Research U.K. and others; STAMPEDE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00268476 , and Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN78818544 .).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Prostate-specific antigen

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Prostate cancer screening depends on a careful balance of benefits, in terms of reduced prostate cancer mortality, and harms, in terms of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We aimed to estimate the effect on overdiagnosis of restricting prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing by age and baseline PSA.

Concepts: Cancer, Prostate cancer, Urology, Screening, Prostate, Overdiagnosis, Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening

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BACKGROUND: A small pre-test study was conducted to ascertain potential harm and anxiety associated with distributing information about possible cancer treatment options at the time of biopsy, prior to knowledge about a definitive cancer diagnosis. Priming men about the availability of multiple options before they have a confirmed diagnosis may be an opportunity to engage patients in more informed decision-making. METHODS: Men with an elevated PSA test or suspicious Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) who were referred to a urology clinic for a biopsy were randomized to receive either the clinic’s usual care (UC) biopsy instruction sheet (n = 11) or a pre-biopsy educational (ED) packet containing the biopsy instruction sheet along with a booklet about the biopsy procedure and a prostate cancer treatment decision aid originally written for newly diagnosed men that described in detail possible treatment options (n = 18). RESULTS: A total of 62% of men who were approached agreed to be randomized, and 83% of the ED group confirmed they used the materials. Anxiety scores were similar for both groups while awaiting the biopsy procedure, with anxiety scores trending lower in the ED group: 41.2 on a prostate-specific anxiety instrument compared to 51.7 in the UC group (p = 0.13). ED participants reported better overall quality of life while awaiting biopsy compared to the UC group (76.4 vs. 48.5, p = 0.01). The small number of men in the ED group who went on to be diagnosed with cancer reported being better informed about the risks and side effects of each option compared to men diagnosed with cancer in the UC group (p = 0.07). In qualitative discussions, men generally reported they found the pre-biopsy materials to be helpful and indicated having information about possible treatment options reduced their anxiety. However, 2 of 18 men reported they did not want to think about treatment options until after they knew their biopsy results. CONCLUSIONS: In this small sample offering pre-biopsy education about potential treatment options was generally well received by patients, appeared to be beneficial to men who went on to be diagnosed, and did not appear to increase anxiety unnecessarily among those who had a negative biopsy.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Biopsy, Prostate cancer, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Rectal examination, Prostate-specific antigen

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Although the digital rectal examination (DRE) is commonly performed to screen for prostate cancer, there is limited data to support its use in primary care. This review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of DRE in screening for prostate cancer in primary care settings.

Concepts: Cancer, Prostate cancer, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Overdiagnosis, Rectal examination, Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening

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Familial prostate cancer risk estimates are inflated by clinically insignificant low-risk cancer, diagnosed after prostate-specific antigen testing. We provide age-specific probabilities of non-low- and high-risk prostate cancer.

Concepts: Family, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Decision theory, Probability, Prostate, Prostate-specific antigen