A Systematic Review of Patients' Values, Preferences, and Expectations for the Treatment of Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Eur Urol Open Sci. 2021 Dec 20:36:9-18. doi: 10.1016/j.euros.2021.10.003. eCollection 2022 Feb.


Context: Advances in systemic agents have increased overall survival for men diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Additional cytoreductive prostate treatments and metastasis-directed therapies are under evaluation. These confer toxicity but may offer incremental survival benefits. Thus, an understanding of patients' values and treatment preferences is important for counselling, decision-making, and guideline development.

Objective: To perform a systematic review of patients' values, preferences, and expectations regarding treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

Evidence acquisition: The MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL databases were systematically searched for qualitative and preference elucidation studies reporting on patients' preferences for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. Certainty of evidence was assessed using Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) or GRADE Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative Research (CERQual). The protocol was registered on PROSPERO as CRD42020201420.

Evidence synthesis: A total of 1491 participants from 15 studies met the prespecified eligibility for inclusion. The study designs included were discrete choice experiments (n = 5), mixed methods (n = 3), and qualitative methods (n = 7). Disease states reported per study were: metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer in nine studies (60.0%), metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer in two studies (13.3%), and a mixed cohort in four studies (26.6%). In quantitative preference elicitation studies, patients consistently valued treatment effectiveness and delay in time to symptoms as the two top-ranked treatment attributes (low or very low certainty). Patients were willing to trade off treatment-related toxicity for potential oncological benefits (low certainty). In qualitative studies, thematic analysis revealed cancer progression and/or survival, pain, and fatigue as key components in treatment decisions (low or very low certainty). Patients continue to value oncological benefits in making decisions on treatments under qualitative assessment.

Conclusions: There is limited understanding of how patients make treatment and trade-off decisions following a diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer. For appropriate investment in emerging cytoreductive local tumour and metastasis-directed therapies, we should seek to better understand how this cohort weighs the oncological benefits against the risks.

Patient summary: We looked at how men with advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer make treatment decisions. We found that little is known about patients' preferences for current and proposed new treatments. Further studies are required to understand how patients make decisions to help guide the integration of new treatments into the standard of care.

Keywords: Choice behaviour; Cytoreductive; Discrete choice experiment; Metastasis-directed therapy; Metastatic prostate cancer; Oligometastatic; Stereotactic ablative radiation therapy; Stereotactic radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review