Journal of Bone Oncology (2021-02-01)

Real-world practice patterns and attitudes towards de-escalation of bone-modifying agents in patients with bone metastases from breast and prostate cancer: A physician survey

  • Mashari AlZahrani,
  • Mark Clemons,
  • Lisa Vandermeer,
  • Marta Sienkiewicz,
  • Arif Ali Awan,
  • Brian Hutton,
  • Gregory R. Pond,
  • Terry L. Ng

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 26
p. 100339

Abstract

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Background: There remain questions around the optimal use of bone-modifying agents (BMAs) in patients with bone metastases from breast and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). A physician survey was performed to identify current practices, as well as perceptions around long-term BMA use, BMA de-escalation, and further BMA de-escalation after 2 years of use. Methods: Canadian oncologists treating breast cancer or CRPC were surveyed via an anonymized online survey. The survey collected physician demographics, current practice patterns, perception on risk of symptomatic skeletal events (SSE) and BMA-associated toxicities, and attitudes towards further de-escalation of BMAs after 2 years of treatment. Results: A total of 334 physicians in Canada were contacted, of which 295 were eligible on initial screening, and 65 completed the survey (response rate 22%): 35 treated breast cancer, 25 treated prostate cancer and 5 treated both. The most common BMA regimens in patients with no limitation in drug coverage were denosumab q4wks for 3–4 months followed by a de-escalation to q12wks (breast cancer) and denosumab q4wks (prostate cancer). In patients with provincial health coverage only the common choices were zoledronate q4wks for 3–4 months followed by de-escalation to q12wks (breast cancer) and denosumab q4wks (prostate cancer). There was equipoise regarding the benefit of continuing BMA beyond 2 years and interest in further trials of de-escalation of BMA in both breast and prostate cancer. The most favored alternative primary study endpoints to SSE were BMA toxicity (67.2%), pain (46.9%), and physical function (48.4%). Conclusion: Despite their extensive use and costs, questions around optimal use of BMAs still exist. Practice varies according to patient insurance coverage. However, most physicians are de-escalating BMAs. There is interest amongst clinicians in performing trials of de-escalation, especially after 2 years of treatment.

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