BACKGROUND: The availability of a number of agents that are efficacious in patients with metastatic prostate cancer (mPC) has led to them being used sequentially, and this has prolonged patient survival. However, in order to maximize their efficacy, clinicians need to be able to obtain a reliable picture of disease evolution by means of monitoring procedures.
METHODS: As the intensive monitoring protocols used in pivotal trials cannot be adopted in everyday clinical practice and there is no agreement among the available guidelines, a multidisciplinary panel of Italian experts met to develop recommendations for monitoring mPC patients using a modified Delphi method.
RESULTS: The consensus project considered methods of clinically, radiographically, and biochemically monitoring patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive and metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer undergoing chemotherapy and/or hormonal treatment. The panelists also considered the methods and timing of monitoring castration levels, bone health, and the metabolic syndrome during androgen deprivation therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: The recommendations, which were drawn up by experts following a formal and validated consensus procedure, will help clinicians face the everyday challenges of monitoring metastatic prostate cancer patients.