Patients Undergoing Multiple Systemic Therapies for Metastatic Prostate Cancer Expect a Cure

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A third of individuals with metastatic prostate cancer expect that multiple systemic therapies may cure their cancer.
A third of individuals with metastatic prostate cancer expect that multiple systemic therapies may cure their cancer.

Patient expectations for the outcome of multiple systemic therapies to treat metastatic prostate cancer often do not match those of health care providers.1

Multiple systemic therapies are offered to patients with metastatic prostate cancer to prolong survival. However, one-third of men with metastatic prostate cancer have the expectation that multiple systemic therapies may cure their cancer, according to a study presented at the 2017 Genitourinary Cancer symposium.

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In the study, men with metastatic prostate cancer completed a survey to assess their expectations from treatment. Of the 96 men who completed the survey, 32 (33%) reported an expectation that the cancer would be cured; 8% reported that it was very likely, 14% reported that it was somewhat likely, and 11% reported that it was a little likely.

Higher expectations of a cure were associated with higher optimism scores. Non-Caucasian patients had lower expectations than Caucasian patients. In addition, patients with better overall health had greater odds of expecting a cure than patients with poor overall health. The researchers report, “Marital status and age were not associated with expectations.” ;

“Actions to align patient and physician expectations are necessary to adequately counsel patients and avoid overtreatment with toxic therapies,” explained the researchers. Patients are more likely to accept treatment that would be considered unacceptable, if they believe there is a chance for cure. Adjusting patient expectations with the expected outcomes of health care providers is crucial to preventing toxic treatment that the patient would refuse if curing the disease was not feasible.


1. Moses KA, Penson DF, Du L, et al. Patient expectation from systemic treatment of metastatic prostate cancer (mPC). Poster presented at: 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium; February 16-18, 2017; Orlando, FL. Abstract 218.

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