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AACR 2019: Does Treatment With Abiraterone Acetate Benefit Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer and Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease?

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Key Points

  • The crude risk of overall mortality by 6 months ranged from 21.4% to 25.6% (depending on the type of preexisting cardiovascular condition) vs 15.8% for those with no preexisting cardiovascular disease.
  • Among patients without chemotherapy, the hospitalization rate increased by 53% among those who had no preexisting cardiovascular disease. Among those with preexisting cardiovascular disease, it ranged from a 34% increase among those with atrial fibrillation to a 55% increase among those with acute myocardial infarction.  

Patients with advanced prostate cancer who had preexisting cardiovascular disease had a higher risk of mortality in the 6 months after starting abiraterone acetate treatment compared with those who had no preexisting cardiovascular disease, according to data presented by Lu-Yao et al at a presscast in advance of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019 (Abstract 4469).

“Patients with a history of significant cardiovascular disease or uncontrolled hypertension are almost always excluded from clinical trials of abiraterone acetate,” said Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH, Associate Director for Population Science at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. “However, in the real-world setting, these conditions are very common among men with prostate cancer.”

“Our data show that patients who have preexisting cardiovascular disease experienced higher mortality after receiving abiraterone acetate compared with those who do not, and the bulk of the survival differences occurred in the first 6 months,” continued Dr. Lu-Yao, who is also Vice Chair and Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. “These data also provide rationale for relaxing clinical trial exclusion criteria to ensure greater generalizability of trial results to the real world. It is very important that patients with advanced prostate cancer understand that the outcomes of abiraterone acetate treatment observed in clinical trials may not apply to patients in the real world, especially those not meeting the eligibility criteria of the clinical trials,” Dr. Lu-Yao said.

Study Methods

To study real-world clinical outcomes among patients treated with abiraterone acetate for advanced prostate cancer, Dr. Lu-Yao and colleagues obtained population-based data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)–Medicare linked data resource and identified 2,845 patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 2013, and treated with abiraterone acetate between 2011 and 2014.

The researchers investigated the outcomes of patients with preexisting significant cardiovascular disease to fill a major knowledge gap resulting from restricted exclusion criteria in existing clinical trials.

Findings

Researchers found that 1,924 (67.6%) patients had at least 1 serious cardiovascular condition (for example, acute myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, stroke, and/or ischemic heart disease) before starting treatment with abiraterone acetate. These patients had a significantly higher all-cause mortality in the 6 months after starting abiraterone acetate compared with those who had no preexisting cardiovascular disease. The crude risk of overall mortality by 6 months ranged from 21.4% to 25.6% (depending on the type of preexisting cardiovascular condition) vs 15.8% for those with no preexisting cardiovascular disease.

To assess the impact of abiraterone acetate treatment on health-care utilization, the researchers analyzed the hospitalization rate in the 6 months before and after abiraterone acetate treatment—and found a substantial increase in hospitalization rate after treatment. Among patients without chemotherapy, the hospitalization rate increased by 53% among those who had no preexisting cardiovascular disease. Among those with preexisting cardiovascular disease, it ranged from a 34% increase among those with atrial fibrillation to a 55% increase among those with acute myocardial infarction.  

“The increased posttreatment hospitalization rate shows that there is risk associated with abiraterone acetate for all patients,” said Dr. Lu-Yao.

Abiraterone acetate was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2011 for use in combination with prednisone for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received prior chemotherapy containing docetaxel. In February 2018, it was approved for uses in combination with prednisone for metastatic, high-risk, castration-sensitive prostate cancer.  

“As we move abiraterone acetate treatment to patients with earlier stages of the disease and longer life expectancy, it is important to evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the risks based on the health status of the patients and to ensure that patients are carefully monitored for potential side effects,” said Dr. Lu-Yao.

During the presscast, AACR President Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, commented that “the healthiest patients often go into clinical trials,” and that this may not “reflect real-world data … which has become an important topic.”

According to Dr. Lu-Yao, the main limitations of the study included that the researchers could not address treatment efficacy among these vulnerable patients, given the study’s retrospective nature; the presence of confounders such as variable disease states; and the inability to quantify expected survival without control groups. “We also could not directly compare our study population against the inclusion/exclusion criteria of the pivotal abiraterone acetate trials due to insufficient clinical information from the SEER database,” said Dr. Lu-Yao. “In addition, the cardiovascular conditions were derived from the Medicare files, and misclassification might occur.”

Disclosure: This study was funded by a Pennsylvania CURE Program award and the National Cancer Institute. The study authors' full disclosures can be found at abstractsonline.com.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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