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Article of the Week: Evaluating the proportion of tadalafil-treated patients with clinical improvement in LUTS associated with BPH

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects the 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 accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is 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.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature a video from Dr. Jonathan Rees, discussing the paper. 

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

Proportion of tadalafil-treated patients with clinically meaningful improvement in lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia – integrated data from 1499 study participants

John Curtis Nickel, Gerald B. Brock*, Sender Herschorn, Ruth Dickson, Carsten Henneges§ and Lars Viktrup

 

Department of Urology, Queens University, Kingston, *University of Western Ontario, London, Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada, §Lilly Deutschland GmbH, Bad Homburg, Germany, and ¶Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA

 

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the proportion of patients achieving clinically meaningful improvement of lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH-LUTS) with tadalafil using two definitions of response.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Post hoc integrated analysis of four placebo-controlled studies in men (aged ≥45 years; International Prostate Symptom Score [IPSS] of ≥13; maximum urinary flow rate [Qmax] of ≥4 to ≤15 mL/s) with BPH-LUTS randomised to tadalafil 5 mg (752 patients) or placebo (747) for 12 weeks after a 4-week placebo run-in. Responders were defined as having a total IPSS improvement of ≥3 points or ≥25% from randomisation to endpoint (Week 12). Response status was calculated per patient, and relative benefit and odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) of tadalafil vs placebo was calculated using a logistic Generalised Mixed Model for Repeated Measures.

RESULTS

Tadalafil 5 mg once daily resulted in a significantly greater proportion of patients achieving a ≥3-point IPSS improvement (71.1% and 56.0% for tadalafil and placebo patients, respectively [OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.5, 2.4; P < 0.001]) and achieving a ≥25% improvement in total IPSS randomisation to endpoint (61.7% and 45.5% for tadalafil and placebo patients, respectively [OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.6, 2.5; P < 0.001]).

CONCLUSIONS

About two-thirds of tadalafil-treated patients achieve a clinically meaningful improvement in BPH-LUTS symptoms, based on two different definitions of responder status.

Editorial: Patients not p-values

A well powered study can attain statistical significance at a small effect size, but in real-life clinical practice, we do not routinely judge the success or failure of treatment based on the mean result for the hundreds of patients we have treated previously. Nor do we compare the response to treatment with what would have happened if we gave our patient a placebo; instead, clinical effectiveness is determined by the response of the individual patient seated across the desk in our clinic. In an ideal world, therefore, clinical significance, as well as statistical significance, should be built into study design and influence sample size and methodology in much the same way. In this way, we could attempt to assign objectivity to what is essentially a subjective metric: ‘did this treatment work for you?’

It is 25 years since the concept of ‘minimum clinically important difference’ (MCID) was first postulated [1] and almost 20 years since Barry et al. [2] applied this theory to LUTS and the IPSS in particular. MCID represents the smallest change as a result of treatment that is of clinical importance. In a measure such as blood pressure or diabetic control, this is the difference that makes a meaningful impact on complications, but in a quality-of-life field, such as measurement of urinary symptoms where we are predominantly treating the bother caused by the symptoms, the MCID is the smallest change that is noticeable to the patient. Barry et al. showed that a three-point improvement in IPSS is the minimum change required for a patient to notice a slight improvement in symptoms (five points correlating with a moderate improvement and eight points with marked improvement). For the IPSS quality-of-life item, the MCID is considered to be 0.5 points. This is based on two considerations: in other well studied questions with similar seven-point Likert scales, the MCIDs are usually ∼0.5, with the rule of thumb that the MCID is ∼0.5 of the standard deviation/one standard error of measurement. The 2010 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence LUTS in Men Guideline examined the concept of what constituted the MCID for flow rate changes; the evidence base is weak, but a change of 2 mL/s was taken as the MCID, based on the evidence available and expert opinion [3]. A change of three points in total IPSS, however, whilst noticeable, does not necessarily imply a significant improvement in overall or disease-specific quality of life. Furthermore, in a patient with severe symptoms, an improvement of three points may represent a much smaller change than in a patient with milder symptoms at baseline, and for this reason, an improvement in IPSS of ≥25% from baseline has also been proposed as a threshold for clinically meaningful improvement.

The study by Nickel et al. [4] is a rare example of an attempt to integrate the concept of MCID into LUTS trial reporting, analysing the proportion of men with LUTS/BPH, treated with tadalafil 5 mg once daily, who achieved a meaningful improvement in symptoms based on changes in both actual and percentage IPSS. This analysis again shows the power of placebo in LUTS treatment, with approximately half the patients in placebo arms of the four studies achieving the MCID on the IPSS. For those treated with tadalafil, a greater proportion achieved the MCID, with 71.1% seeing an improvement of ≥3 points on the IPSS, and 61.7% a ≥25% change in total IPSS. This benefit over placebo was greater when more demanding clinical thresholds were used, e.g. 50 or 75% improvement on IPSS.

It is encouraging to see a paper that reports clinical significance, but whilst of interest, the study is a post hoc analysis of four trials designed to test tadalafil vs tamsulosin or placebo, for licensing approval, and not a trial designed specifically to measure the clinical significance of changes in symptoms. It is a useful reminder to urologists, however, of the concept of MCID, which despite being well established is not widely known. MCID should be incorporated into the analysis of any results based on patient-reported outcomes [5] where the clinical significance of the results may not be immediately apparent to the clinician.

by Jonathan Rees

 

Backwell & Nailsea Medical Group, Nailsea, North Somerset, UK

 

References

 

Video: Patients not p-values

Proportion of tadalafil-treated patients with clinically meaningful improvement in lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia – integrated data from 1499 study participants

John Curtis Nickel, Gerald B. Brock*, Sender Herschorn, Ruth Dickson, Carsten Henneges§ and Lars Viktrup

 

Department of Urology, Queens University, Kingston, *University of Western Ontario, London, Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada, §Lilly Deutschland GmbH, Bad Homburg, Germany, and ¶Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA

 

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the proportion of patients achieving clinically meaningful improvement of lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH-LUTS) with tadalafil using two definitions of response.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Post hoc integrated analysis of four placebo-controlled studies in men (aged ≥45 years; International Prostate Symptom Score [IPSS] of ≥13; maximum urinary flow rate [Qmax] of ≥4 to ≤15 mL/s) with BPH-LUTS randomised to tadalafil 5 mg (752 patients) or placebo (747) for 12 weeks after a 4-week placebo run-in. Responders were defined as having a total IPSS improvement of ≥3 points or ≥25% from randomisation to endpoint (Week 12). Response status was calculated per patient, and relative benefit and odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) of tadalafil vs placebo was calculated using a logistic Generalised Mixed Model for Repeated Measures.

RESULTS

Tadalafil 5 mg once daily resulted in a significantly greater proportion of patients achieving a ≥3-point IPSS improvement (71.1% and 56.0% for tadalafil and placebo patients, respectively [OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.5, 2.4; P < 0.001]) and achieving a ≥25% improvement in total IPSS randomisation to endpoint (61.7% and 45.5% for tadalafil and placebo patients, respectively [OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.6, 2.5; P < 0.001]).

CONCLUSIONS

About two-thirds of tadalafil-treated patients achieve a clinically meaningful improvement in BPH-LUTS symptoms, based on two different definitions of responder status.

A new treatment option for prostatitis/prostatodynia?

The management of patients with chronic pelvic pain attributed to chronic prostatitis has long been rather unsatisfactory. Even prolonged treatment with an aminoquinolone, such as ciprofloxacin, and an anti-inflammatory agent, or, alternatively an alpha blocker, seldom results in rapid resolution of the symptoms, and is commonly completely ineffective.

We recently encountered a patient, effectively disabled by prostatodynia, unresponsive to standard treatment, who had been taking morphine to control the pain from 2001 – 2008. He was unable to tolerate non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics. In 2008 he was prescribed initially 10 mgs, then 20 mgs daily, of the phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor tadalafil, with immediate marked improvement of his symptoms. On cessation of the medication on 4 separate occasions, his symptoms returned; recommencement of treatment each time, with 5 mgs tadalafil daily, has resulted in similar persisting improvement of his symptoms, and he has been able to discontinue treatment with morphine. As a direct consequence of the conversation with this individual we have prescribed tadalafil 5 mgs daily in several of our patients with prostatitis; so far with uniformly beneficial results. Of course, we should point out that this is an off-label indication for this medication.  

However, in addition to the symptom of pelvic pain, many men suffering from chronic abacterial prostatitis/prostatodynia also complain of associated lower urinary tract symptoms and ejaculatory discomfort. Consequently treatment with tadalafil at a dose of 5 mgs per day for a period of time would seem logical. It could be surmised that many of its beneficial effects might stem from an improvement of blood flow to pelvic organs as a consequence of its anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory activity, as well as a relaxant effect on smooth muscle, as has been previously suggested in the case of lower urinary tract symptoms by Karl-Eric Andersson and others.

Clearly the hypothesis that daily treatment with a PDE5 inhibitor might be beneficial in men suffering from the prevalent condition of chronic abacterial prostatitis/prostatodynia needs to be formally tested in the context of a randomized controlled trial. If the results of such a study were to prove positive the quality of life of very many sufferers of this disorder might be significantly improved. One might also speculate that it could provide a concomitant benefit to the partners of these often very unhappy men. 

Read the full BJUI article

Roger Kirby, The Prostate Centre
Culley Carson III
, The University of North Carolina
Prokar Dasgupta
The Prostate Centre, Guy’s Hospital, King’s College London

 

Article of the Week: Does tadalafil improve ejaculatory dysfunction?

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the 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 accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is 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.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature a video of  Darius Paduch discussing his paper.

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

Effects of 12 weeks of tadalafil treatment on ejaculatory and orgasmic dysfunction and sexual satisfaction in patients with mild to severe erectile dysfunction: integrated analysis of 17 placebo-controlled studies

Darius A. Paduch*†, Alexander Bolyakov*†, Paula K. Polzer‡ and Steven D. Watts‡

*Department of Urology and Reproductive Medicine,Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, †Consulting Research Services, Inc., Red Bank, NJ, and ‡Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Read the full article

Weill Cornell Medical College Press Release

OBJECTIVES

• To compare effects of tadalafil on ejaculatory and orgasmic function in patients presenting with erectile dysfunction (ED).

• To determine the effects of post-treatment ejaculatory dysfunction (EjD) and orgasmic dysfunction (OD) on measures of sexual satisfaction.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• Data from 17 placebo-controlled 12-week trials of tadalafil (5, 10, 20 mg) as needed in patients with ED were integrated.

• EjD and OD severities were defined by patient responses to the International Index of Erectile Function, question 9 (IIEF-Q9; ejaculation) and IIEF-Q10 (orgasm), respectively.

• Satisfaction was evaluated using the intercourse and overall satisfaction domains of the IIEF and Sexual Encounter Profile question 5.

• Analyses of covariance were performed to compare mean ejaculatory function and orgasmic function, and chi-squared tests evaluated differences in endpoint responses to IIEF-Q9 and IIEF-Q10.

RESULTS

• A total of 3581 randomized subjects were studied.

• Treatment with tadalafil 10 or 20 mg was associated with significant increases in ejaculatory and orgasmic function (vs placebo) across all baseline ED, EjD, and OD severity strata.

• In the tadalafil group, 66% of subjects with severe EjD reported improved ejaculatory function compared with 36% in the placebo group (P < 0.001).

• Similarly, 66% of the tadalafil-treated subjects (vs 35% for placebo; P < 0.001) with severe OD reported improvement.

• Residual severe EjD and OD after treatment had negative impacts on sexual satisfaction.

• Limitations of the analysis include its retrospective nature and the use of an instrument (IIEF) with as yet unknown performance in measuring treatment responses for EjD and OD.

CONCLUSIONS

• Tadalafil treatment was associated with significant improvements in ejaculatory function, orgasmic function and sexual satisfaction.

• Proportions of subjects reporting improved ejaculatory or orgasmic function were ª twofold higher with tadalafil than with placebo.

• These findings warrant corroboration in prospective trials of patients with EjD or OD (without ED).

 

Read Previous Articles of the Week

Editorial: Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors (PDEi) improve orgasm. The power of meta-analysis?

Ever since the potential utility of meta-analyses in the assessment of clinical data was brought to the notice of the urological community by Peter Boyle [1], they have been used increasingly. Indeed this approach to evaluation of drug effects has become de rigueur for healthcare providers and regulatory bodies. In particular, invaluable insight has been given into the benefit : risk ratios of drugs in BPH/LUTS and overactive bladder. Even to the extent, where sufficiently large databases have been made available, it has been possible to identify characteristics predictive of subpopulations of responders and non-responders [1].

The most recent example of the power of meta-analysis is the rigorous statistical dissection of the impact tadalafil on sexual function in erectile dysfunction (ED) by the Department of Urology atWeill Cornell published in BJUI [2]. As would be anticipated from previously published individual clinical trials, there was confirmation in this review of 3581 subjects in 17 placebo-controlled studies, of the positive effect of tadalafil (exemplifying the phosphodiesterase inhibitor [PDEi] class) on erectile function. It could perhaps be argued that with a clinical effect as large and clear-cut as that of PDEi in ED, the meta-analysis was superfluous. Only in situations where the clinical impact beyond that of placebo was of lower magnitude does it come to the fore, e.g. a-adrenoceptor antagonists in the treatment of LUTS [3]. However, at this point the following health warning should be issued, PDEi in the hands of the skilled meta-analysts and marketeers: caveat lector (let the reader beware).
Returning, however, to the material in hand, the analysis of the tadalafil data also shows unequivocally that there is an additional positive effect of the drug (and presumably the PDEi class) on orgasm and sexual satisfaction. These products and class attributes have often been alluded to with varying degrees of conviction, but this is the first time convincing evidence has been tabulated and documented.

Also described is the positive effect of tadalafil on co-morbid ejaculatory dysfunction (EjD) which, at first sight, would tend to provide supportive evidence for the off-label use of tadalafil and other PDEi in the treatment of premature ejaculation (PE). Although the words in the manuscript [3] fall short of advocating this practice, the inference is there for all to read and potentially be detailed astutely by the field-force.We now move into the ‘grey’ area between caveat lector and caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). EjD can mean different things to different men and can represent a continuum from premature to delayed or even anejaculation. Almost certainly most of the patients in the clinical trials analysed would not meet the definition of PE crafted by the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) [4], so little conclusion about the benefit to men with PE can be drawn.

Ironically, a meta-analysis on the impact of PDEi on men with unequivocal PE (or at least meet the ISSM definition) has just been published [5]. The conclusion was that there is no clinically or statistically significant improvement in PE with acute or chronic treatment with PDEi.

Although, at least in the case of ejaculatory function the conclusion of the two meta-analyses appear to be at variance, in actuality they are addressing different questions. It remains, that, although in the use of meta-analysis we have the means of creating a level playing field, we have to be careful to consider what questions are being asked, by whomand with what objective.

References
1 Boyle P, Gould AL, Roehrborn CG. Prostate volume predicts outcome of treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia with finasteride: meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Urology 1996; 48: 398–405
2 Paduch DA, Bolyakov A, Polzer PK, Watts SD. Effects of 12 weeks of tadalafil treatment on ejaculatory and orgasmic dysfunction and sexual satisfaction in patients with mild to severe erectile dysfunction: integrated analysis of 17 placebo-controlled studies. BJU Int 2013; 111: 333–42
3 Boyle P, Robertson C, Manski R, Padley RJ, Roehrborn CG. Meta-analysis of randomized trials of terazosin in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urology 2001; 58: 717–22
4 McMahon CG, Althof S, Waldinger MD et al. International Society for Sexual Medicine Ad Hoc Committee for Definition of Premature Ejaculation. An evidence-based definition of lifelong premature ejaculation: report of the International Society for Sexual Medicine Ad Hoc Committee for the Definition of Premature Ejaculation. BJU Int 2008; 102: 338–50
5 Asimakopoulos AD, Miano R, Agrò EF, Vespasiani G, Spera E. Does current scientific and clinical evidence support the use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors for the treatment of premature ejaculation? A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Sex Med 2012; 9: 2404–16

Mike Wyllie
Plethora Solutions Ltd London, London, UK.
e-mail: [email protected]

Read the full article

Dr Paduch’s commentary on tadalafil and ejaculatory dysfunction

 

 

Effects of 12 weeks of tadalafil treatment on ejaculatory and orgasmic dysfunction and sexual satisfaction in patients with mild to severe erectile dysfunction: integrated analysis of 17 placebo-controlled studies

Darius A. Paduch*†, Alexander Bolyakov*†, Paula K. Polzer‡ and Steven D. Watts‡

*Department of Urology and Reproductive Medicine,Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, †Consulting Research Services, Inc., Red Bank, NJ, and ‡Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Read the full article
OBJECTIVES

• To compare effects of tadalafil on ejaculatory and orgasmic function in patients presenting with erectile dysfunction (ED).

• To determine the effects of post-treatment ejaculatory dysfunction (EjD) and orgasmic dysfunction (OD) on measures of sexual satisfaction.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• Data from 17 placebo-controlled 12-week trials of tadalafil (5, 10, 20 mg) as needed in patients with ED were integrated.

• EjD and OD severities were defined by patient responses to the International Index of Erectile Function, question 9 (IIEF-Q9; ejaculation) and IIEF-Q10 (orgasm), respectively.

• Satisfaction was evaluated using the intercourse and overall satisfaction domains of the IIEF and Sexual Encounter Profile question 5.

• Analyses of covariance were performed to compare mean ejaculatory function and orgasmic function, and chi-squared tests evaluated differences in endpoint responses to IIEF-Q9 and IIEF-Q10.

RESULTS

• A total of 3581 randomized subjects were studied.

• Treatment with tadalafil 10 or 20 mg was associated with significant increases in ejaculatory and orgasmic function (vs placebo) across all baseline ED, EjD, and OD severity strata.

• In the tadalafil group, 66% of subjects with severe EjD reported improved ejaculatory function compared with 36% in the placebo group (P < 0.001).

• Similarly, 66% of the tadalafil-treated subjects (vs 35% for placebo; P < 0.001) with severe OD reported improvement.

• Residual severe EjD and OD after treatment had negative impacts on sexual satisfaction.

• Limitations of the analysis include its retrospective nature and the use of an instrument (IIEF) with as yet unknown performance in measuring treatment responses for EjD and OD.

CONCLUSIONS

• Tadalafil treatment was associated with significant improvements in ejaculatory function, orgasmic function and sexual satisfaction.

• Proportions of subjects reporting improved ejaculatory or orgasmic function were ª twofold higher with tadalafil than with placebo.

• These findings warrant corroboration in prospective trials of patients with EjD or OD (without ED).

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