Tag Archive for: cost and access to treatment


Article of the week: Management of patients with advanced prostate cancer in the Asia Pacific region: ‘real‐world’ consideration of results from the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference 2017

Every week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. There is also a video produced by the authors describing the ‘real-world’ findings.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Management of patients with advanced prostate cancer in the Asia Pacific region: ‘real‐world’ consideration of results from the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference 2017

Edmund Chionga, Declan G. Murphyb,c, Hideyuki Akazad, Nicholas C. Buchane,f, Byung Ha Chungg, Ravindran Kanesvaranh, Makarand Khochikari, Jason LetranjBannakij Lojanapiwatk, Chi-fai Ngl, Teng Ongm, Yeong-Shiau Pun, Marniza Saado, Kathryn Schubachq, Levent rkeris, Rainy Umbast, Vu Le Chuyenu, Scott Williamsv,r, Ding-Wei Yew, ANZUP Cancer Trials Groupx and Ian D. Davisy,z,r


aDepartment of Urology, National University Hospital, National University Health System Singapore, hDivision of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore City, Singapore, bDivision of Cancer Surgery, vDivision of Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne, yMonash University, zEastern Health, Melbourne, cSir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University Melbourne, Parkville, qAustralian New Zealand Urology Nurses (ANZUNS), Melbourne, VIC, Australia, rANZUP Cancer Trials Group, xLifehouse, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW, Australia, dStrategic Investigation on Comprehensive Cancer Network, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, eCanterbury Urology Research Trust, fCanterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand, gDepartment of Urology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, iSiddhi Vinayak Ganapati Cancer Hospital, Miraj, India, jSection of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, kDivision of Urology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, lDepartment of Surgery, SH Ho Urology Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, wDepartment of Urology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China, mDivision of Urology, Department of Surgery, oDepartment of Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia, nDepartment of Urology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, sDepartment of Urology, Acibadem University, Istanbul, Turkey, tDepartment of Urology, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia, and uDepartment of Urology, Binh dan Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam




The Asia Pacific Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APAC APCCC 2018) brought together 20 experts from 15 APAC countries to discuss the real‐world application of consensus statements from the second APCCC held in St Gallen in 2017 (APCCC 2017).


Differences in genetics, environment, lifestyle, diet and culture are all likely to influence the management of advanced prostate cancer in the APAC region when compared with the rest of the world. When considering the strong APCCC 2017 recommendation for the use of upfront docetaxel in metastatic castration‐naïve prostate cancer, the panel noted possible increased toxicity in Asian men receiving docetaxel, which would affect this recommendation in the APAC region. Although androgen receptor‐targeting agents appear to be well tolerated in Asian men with metastatic castration‐resistant prostate cancer, access to these drugs is very limited for financial reasons across the region. The meeting highlighted that cost and access to contemporary treatments and technologies are key factors influencing therapeutic decision‐making in the APAC region. Whilst lower cost/older treatments and technologies may be an option, issues of culture and patient or physician preference mean, these may not always be acceptable. Although generic products can reduce cost in some countries, costs may still be prohibitive for lower‐income patients or communities. The panellists noted the opportunity for a coordinated approach across the APAC region to address issues of access and cost. Developments in technologies and treatments are presenting new opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Differences in genetics and epidemiology affect the side‐effect profiles of some drugs and influence prescribing.

Box 1: Management of advanced prostate cancer in the APAC region: real‐world challenges in implementing the St Gallen APCCC recommendations.

  1. Differences in toxicity: safety data for docetaxel are not fully established in Asian men and concerns about the toxicity profile and risk of neutropaenia may influence prescribing.
  2. Disparities in access to imaging technology: variable access to imaging technology may limit prescribing according to precise definitions.
  3. Disparities in access and cost of treatment: availability and cost of treatments are the most significant factor influencing prescribing decisions in the region; lower‐cost alternatives are not always culturally acceptable, and informed choice is important.
  4. Variability in MDT approaches: the importance of multidisciplinary input to treatment recommendations is understood but MDTs are a challenge in some APAC countries; virtual MDT participation should be encouraged.
  5. Variability in demographics: genetics and epidemiology in Asian men with prostate cancer may result in different treatment responses; collaborative registry studies and trials in APAC populations are likely to be valuable.


As the field continues to evolve, collaboration across the APAC region will be important to facilitate relevant research and collection and appraisal of data relevant to APAC populations. In the meantime, the APAC APCCC 2018 meeting highlighted the critical importance of a multidisciplinary team‐based approach to treatment planning and care, delivery of best‐practice care by clinicians with appropriate expertise, and the importance of patient information and support for informed patient choice.


Editorial: The Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus on a regional level – what can we learn?

In this issue of BJUI Chiong et al [1] present the results of the Asia Pacific (APAC) Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) 2018, during which the implications of the APCCC 2017 findings were discussed in the context of the APAC region. For background, it is important to understand the concept of the original APCCC and why it was initiated [1,2,3].

The consensus conference aims to target areas of controversy in the clinical management of advanced prostate cancer where evidence is either limited or lacking or where interpretation of evidence is controversial. The expert consensus aims to complement existing clinical practice guidelines that are mostly based on high‐level evidence. The APCCC’s most prominent aim is knowledge translation, in the sense of improving care of men with advanced prostate cancer worldwide who are treated outside of centres of excellence. During the original APCCC in St Gallen, where 61 prostate cancer experts and scientists were assembled, the majority of the consensus questions were discussed; these had been prepared prior to the conference under the idealistic assumption that all diagnostic procedures and treatments (including expertise in their interpretation and application) mentioned were readily available. These assumptions have been specifically chosen, because availability of systemic treatment options for advanced prostate cancer, access to next‐generation imaging (whole‐body MRI and positron‐emission tomography [PET]) and expertise in molecular techniques and interpretation of results vary widely across the world. The original global APCCC did not generally address regional or country‐specific situations, but APCCC 2017 did have a special session and also voting questions for treatment options in countries with limited resources. Importantly, consensus recommendations may even inform and influence regulatory authorities, for example, if a specific treatment is considered to be the best option by the majority of experts and availability in a certain country is lacking.

The APAC APCCC 2018 consisted of 20 experts (mostly urologists) from 15 countries and discussed the findings and voting results of five of the 10 APCCC 2017 topics. Whether or not Turkey should be considered an APAC country is unclear. The most relevant observations were as set out below:

  • There is huge variation in access to drugs used for treatment of advanced prostate cancer in the APAC region. Australia and Hong Kong have access to almost all treatment options (notably cabazitaxel is not mentioned) compared with countries such as Vietnam or the Philippines, where there is limited availability of many compounds. Regarding imaging technologies (standard CT is not mentioned), there seems to be wide availability of next‐generation imaging such as whole‐body MRI and choline‐ or PSMA‐PET technologies; however, these imaging methods are often not reimbursed.
  • Pharmaco‐ethnic issues have so far not been considered by the original APCCC and the APAC report clearly highlights the need to address such issues. The higher toxicity of docetaxel in Asian men may influence treatment recommendations, especially in situations such as low‐volume metastatic castration‐naïve prostate cancer, where the role of early addition of docetaxel to androgen deprivation therapy is less clear.
  • The authors of the APAC meeting state that ketoconazole and bicalutamide are still widely used despite the proven superiority of enzalutamide vs bicalutamide. A possible reason for this is the lack of reimbursement in some APAC countries.
  • There is an obvious need for clinical trials in the APAC region because of variations in genetics, genomics, epidemiology and pharmaco‐ethnicity. Such trials may answer questions about toxicity/tolerability and also optimal use of resources in the context of economic limitations.

In summary, the APAC APCCC 2018 is an excellent example of how the global APCCC findings should be discussed and integrated on a regional or even country‐specific level. The authors are therefore to be congratulated for their efforts and for writing up the discussions. The next APCCC  (2019; apccc.org) will take up a number of points raised by the APAC meeting, namely, more panel experts from APAC countries and pharmaco‐ethnic topics.


  1. Edmund C, Declan GM, Hideyuki A et al. Management of patients with advanced prostate cancer in the Asia Pacific region: ‘real‐world’ consideration of results from the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) 2017. BJU Int 2019; 123: 22–34
  2. Gillessen S, Omlin A, Attard G et al. Management of patients with advanced prostate cancer: recommendations of the St Gallen Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) 2015. Ann Oncol 2015; 26: 1589–604
  3. Gillessen S, Attard G, Beer TM et al. Management of patients with advanced prostate cancer: the report of the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference APCCC 2017. Eur Urol 2018; 73: 178–211



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