Patient preferences for treatments to delay bone metastases

Prostate. 2014 Nov;74(15):1488-97. doi: 10.1002/pros.22865. Epub 2014 Aug 17.


Background: Most patients with advanced prostate cancer (PCa) develop bone metastases (BM) and present with bone complications like fracture. Bone-targeted agents that prevent metastasis-induced bone complications can cause adverse events. Understanding how patients view treatment options may optimize care. This study aimed to quantify how PCa patients value a hypothetical treatment that delays BM but can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The study also assessed the value patients place on avoiding metastasis-induced bone complications versus increased survival.

Methods: PCa patients from the United Kingdom (n = 201) and Sweden (n = 200) on androgen-deprivation therapy or hormone therapy for ≥ 3 years completed a 10-question discrete-choice-experiment survey examining whether patients would accept a BM-delaying treatment. Two time-tradeoff questions assessed patients' willingness to tradeoff between survival and bone complications. Percentages of patients choosing treatment were summarized by levels of treatment efficacy and ONJ risk. Odds ratios from a logit model were used to evaluate how patient and medication characteristics affected treatment choice. Proportions of patients choosing each tradeoff scenario were calculated.

Results: A majority of patients accepted treatment at the lowest benefit level (5-month BM delay) and highest risk level (9% ONJ risk). PCa symptoms and prior treatment affected patient preferences. Nearly 80% of patients would tradeoff at least 3 months of survival to avoid bone complications.

Conclusions: PCa patients in the U.K and Sweden may value a medication that delays BM, despite the risk of ONJ. Furthermore, patients were willing to tradeoff up to 5 months of survival for prevention of bone complications.

Keywords: bone pain; discrete-choice experiment; osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ); prostate cancer; skeletal-related events (SREs); time tradeoff.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Bone Neoplasms / psychology
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Preference* / psychology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom


  • Antineoplastic Agents