Navigating the Future of Prostate Cancer Treatment and Global Access at APCCC 2024 - Silke Gillessen

June 14, 2023

Alicia Morgans engages with Silke Gillessen to discuss the upcoming APCCC conference in 2024. The conference seeks to address some of the major questions in clinical practice such as the management of biochemical relapse after radical prostatectomy and the application of novel endocrine agents plus PARP inhibitors in first line mCRPC treatments. Side effects and their management, especially those associated with PARP inhibitors, will also be a topic of interest. Gillessen highlights the international and multidisciplinary nature of the conference panel, emphasizing the importance of sharing best practices across different geographical and practice contexts. They also mention a session planned to discuss global access to treatments, especially in countries with limited resources.


Silke Gillessen, MD, Medical Oncologist, Medical and Scientific Director, L'Istituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana (IOSI), Bellinzona, Switzerland

Alicia Morgans, MD, MPH, Genitourinary Medical Oncologist, Medical Director of Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

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Alicia Morgans: Hi, I'm so excited to be here with Professor Silke Gillessen, who is the head of the Institute of Oncology of Southern Switzerland. Thank you so much for being here with me today.

Silke Gillessen: Thank you for the invitation, Alicia.

Alicia Morgans: Wonderful. I am so excited, I know you are too, that the APCCC conference is happening again in 2024. Can you tell me a little bit about the APCCC, and tell me what you're looking forward to?

Silke Gillessen: April 2024 is the date, so end of April. And in time for this interview we got the new website online. Everyone who's really interested to go into more detail can go to and see the program, the panelists, and everything. You have been there from the beginning, so you know it's a consensus conference. We will have all these questions that we have in daily clinical practice. What are we doing ... Right now, I have a lot of these patients, I don't know how it is with you, who have a second biochemical relapse after having had radical prostatectomy. The first biochemical relapse, then salvage radiotherapy plus or minus ADT and now have another biochemical relapse. There is not a lot of data around there, so this is one of the topics we want to discuss there.

Metastatic hormone sensitive disease, where we have so many questions, who should get the triplet with the chemotherapy. At ASCO, we will hear about the triplet radiotherapy plus abiraterone with the new PEACE-1 data, so I'm very excited about that. We're obviously going to also have questions about that question. Then another hot topic is who should get the novel endocrine agent plus a PARP inhibitor first line MCRPC? Should it be all patients unselected? Should it be only the patients with BRCA mutation? Should it be all patients who have a defect in or alteration in HRR? It is really a big question. It's a lot of debates also in the social media and we obviously want to discuss that as well.

These are the really important questions. And then other important questions in clinical practice that we will discuss are the side effects, the management of the side effects. Now we have PARP inhibitors and I know it's something, it's a pill, and everyone thinks it's very easy, but no, it's quite toxic. I think we should really learn also about managing these side effects, especially if we give it together with other drugs or after drugs that also can cause bone marrow toxicity. I think we should also concentrate on the less sexy topics, but the topics that really are very important for the patients.

Alicia Morgans: As you always do, which is so important. And the other thing that I think is so important about the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference is that you bring a truly international panel of faculty members together, multidisciplinary panel. And it's so interesting, especially some of the points you just mentioned, that there are such distinct ways that we practice, the ways that the labels are written for these drugs, around the world and we get to hear best practices and considerations from our colleagues who may have very different practice situations. And that's so valuable, as well.

Silke Gillessen: Thank you. And you give me exactly the point that we have also planned a session that is more global to understand how our colleagues treating in Asia, in Africa, in other countries. Because we're always quite centric on the States, Canada, and Europe. But then there's so many other patients around who are in other countries and we know that the number of these patients is growing and sometimes they have much less access. We have a whole session about discussing the global access to treatments. In countries where we have limited resources, what is the really important treatments that we should focus on?

Alicia Morgans: And the other thing that I think is so exciting, you've mentioned a number of advances in the last year or so, and we have more coming because we are expecting more data. We've summited at ASCO, but I think more will be coming at ESMO and maybe even at GU ASCO, before this conference happens. And I think it'll be exciting for us to have conversations. Maybe not all of these will be integrated into the voting and can consensus because you work so hard on putting those questions together to be unambiguous and to be clear. But even the conversations among panel members outside of the voting will be very interesting as we consider these topics.

Silke Gillessen: To be honest, we choose that date in April so we can really try to integrate all the data that comes at ESMO and ASCO GU, and we obviously also ASCO now, already in the questions. So we have planned to try to be very up-to-date in April with the questions.

Alicia Morgans: The team is phenomenal and you do everything so quickly, even getting a manuscript out very quickly after the conference to make sure that the community, whether they've attended or not, has in writing the consensus information down. And is that the plan again, I would imagine, for 2024?

Silke Gillessen: Yes, of course. We try to be a bit faster than this time. But anyway, yeah, we always try to be fast and we always have it open access so everyone can access the data. That's very important because there are countries as we discussed that have less money, so we are paying for open access. Everyone who wants now to see the results from 2022 can access both papers. We had done this time two papers, one in European Urology and the other in European Journal of Cancer. Everyone can access all the voting results.

Alicia Morgans: If people are interested in attending, how would they do that? And is there going to be a virtual option for people to review online this time? Because the world is changing, we're much more in person again.

Silke Gillessen: That's true. We thought we are going to stay with the hybrid format. That has worked quite well. Because again, there are people, doctors that can't afford the travel, so we will have the hybrid format. We still hope that a lot of people really come because I think the conference is also about networking and discussion and that's always much easier in person. I would really hope that a lot of doctors around the world can come and can take the opportunity to be really participants there.

Alicia Morgans: Thank you so much for going through all of this. Can you remind us one last time of the website?

Silke Gillessen: Website is

Alicia Morgans: We will make sure that we get ourselves there and I hope all of the viewers get themselves there, too. It is a beautiful remastered website, really one that is befitting of such a wonderful event. Thank you so much for your time and expertise today.

Silke Gillessen: Thank you very much. And thank you very much, also, that you are one of our really very, very always there panelists. It's very nice to have you there.