Discussing the study on immediate vs deferred androgen deprivation therapy in the setting of prostate cancer with prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-only relapse, ASCO President Peter P. Yu, MD, noted that more than 60,000 men each year will face the dilemma of when to start androgen deprivation therapy for a PSA relapse after treatment with surgery or radiation with curative intent.
“These men get the devastating news that their PSA is rising, but they are asymptomatic. They may have an emotional need to start therapy, but androgen deprivation therapy has side effects such as fatigue, anemia, cardiovascular deterioration, osteoporosis and risk of bone fracture, weight gain and loss of muscle mass, hot flashes, and other problems. Up until now, there is little evidence to support delaying treatment until clinical signs of disease appear. The results of this study can start the conversation,” he said.
ASCO Immediate Past President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, said, “This study may provide reassurance about deferring androgen deprivation therapy for quality-of-life reasons. We can tell patients that they don’t have to rush to treatment, and the results provide reassurance for us about withholding androgen deprivation therapy.” ■
Disclosure: Drs. Yu and Hudis reported no potential conflicts of interest.