Adding the drug docetaxel to standard hormone therapy is cost-effective when used to treat men with locally-advanced or advanced prostate cancer. This is according to results from the STAMPEDE trial which were presented yesterday at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.
Previous results from the STAMPEDE trial have shown that adding the chemotherapy drug docetaxel to standard hormone therapy improves how long men with prostate cancer live by about 10 months, compared to hormone therapy alone. It also delays the disease getting worse.
The new results show that adding docetaxel to standard hormone therapy is cost-effective when used for men whose disease has spread to distant parts of their bodies. It is also very likely to be cost-effective for men with locally-advanced disease (which has grown outside the surface of the prostate but has not spread further). The health economics analysis also suggests that it may even reduce costs to the NHS when used to treat men with locally-advanced disease. This is because it reduces how long men need treatment with more expensive drugs, by extending how long standard hormone therapy keeps the disease under control.
Since the clinical results from STAMPEDE on docetaxel were published in late 2015, it has been made available on the NHS to men with cancer which has spread to distant parts of their body. However, it is not currently widely available to men with locally-advanced disease who are starting long-term hormone therapy. The researchers are urging clinicians to consider whether these men should be offered docetaxel.
Further results on whether docetaxel improves how long men with locally-advanced disease live are expected from the STAMPEDE trial in the next 12 to 18 months.