To treat or not to treat: is it acceptable to avoid active therapies in advanced prostate cancer today?

Introduction: Recently, there has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) because the approval of a number of new agents has significantly improved overall survival. However, as PCa is a heterogeneous disease that may be more or less aggressive and patients may be more or less responsive to treatment, it is often debated whether or not it is acceptable to avoid active therapies. Areas covered: This review discusses different settings of advanced PCa. Expert opinion: In metastatic castration-resistant PCa, it is unethical not to use active treatments but the use of both androgen receptor targeting agents (ARTA) in sequence should be avoided in most patients and the use of the available agents for fourth-line treatment or beyond should only be considered for highly selected patients. In metastatic hormone-sensitive PCa, patients with de novo disease should receive one additional agent in combination with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), whereas patients in relapse should be managed with ADT alone. In non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (PCa), all patients with a PSA doubling time of ≤6 months should receive one ARTA, whereas the others might wait until there is an acceleration in the kinetics of their PSA levels.

Expert review of anticancer therapy. 2020 Nov 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Orazio Caffo, Francesca Maines, Stefania Kinspergher, Antonello Veccia, Carlo Messina

Department of Medical Oncology, Santa Chiara Hospital, Largo Medaglie d'Oro , 38100 Trento, Italy.