News in brief: Enzalutamide for mHSPC; Treatment decision help for older cancer patients; Statins linked to endometrial cancer survival

Cancer care

15 Apr 2021

Enzalutamide approved for new prostate cancer indication

Enzalutamide (Xtandi) has been approved by the TGA for a new indication of metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC).

The androgen receptor inhibitor is already indicated as oral therapy for patients with non-metastatic castration resistant PC, metastatic castration-resistant PC.

Manufacturer Astellas said enzalutamide was not currently reimbursed under the PBS for mHSPC, but it would make the drug available for this indication via a patient access program.

Associate Professor Arun Azad, a medical oncologist from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and a member of Australian New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP) said the new treatment indication was a welcome option for patients with mHSPC.

“It’s especially pleasing to see that the approval was in part based on new research from the phase 3 ENZAMET clinical trial, sponsored by ANZUP and led by Professor Ian Davis and Professor Chris Sweeney,” he said.

“The ENZAMET and ARCHES trials both demonstrated the effectiveness of enzalutamide in men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer and provide evidence of the benefit of adding enzalutamide to androgen deprivation therapy in these patients,” said Associate Professor Azad.

Treatment decision help for older cancer patients

A new online resource has been launched to help older Australians with cancer make more informed decisions about their treatment and care.

The OlderCan website, developed by Melbourne University-based cancer researchers, provides information and templates to help people over 65 share important personal information with their cancer team, GP and family.

Project lead, Professor Mei Krishnasamy, said the resource was developed because some patients might want to try all treatments available, whereas others may not want treatment that impacts their quality of life.

“Whatever their preference, people need to feel empowered to have open and honest conversations with their cancer teams to facilitate tailored decision making  prompt discussions to change the trajectory of care for patients, setting them on a person-centred pathway,” she said.

“By providing cancer teams with insights into a person’s priorities, the OlderCan resources will enable older patients to achieve treatment aligned with their preferences and goals.”

Do statins improve outcomes in endometrial cancer?

An Australian study has found that statin use after diagnosis of endometrial cancer is linked to better survival outcomes compared to women who did not use statins.

But researchers from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, said the findings from their data-linkage study may have been due to reverse causation, and would need to be confirmed in a randomised controlled trial.

Data from 15,703 women with endometrial cancer found that stain use prior to diagnosis was not associated with differences in survival. However endometrial cancer-specific mortality was lower among women who used statins after diagnosis (Hazard Ratio = 0.92) compared to non-users. The association was only seen among women with type 1 cancers, for hydrophilic statins and for new use of statins after diagnosis.

The findings are published in Gynecologic Oncology.

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