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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 45

of 'Communication of prognosis in palliative care'

Patient anxiety about prostate cancer independently predicts early initiation of androgen deprivation therapy for biochemical cancer recurrence in older men: a prospective cohort study.
Dale W, Hemmerich J, Bylow K, Mohile S, Mullaney M, Stadler WM
J Clin Oncol. 2009;27(10):1557. Epub 2009 Mar 2.
PURPOSE: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is first-line therapy for patients with prostate cancer (PCA) who experience biochemical recurrence (BCR). However, the optimal timing of ADT initiation is uncertain, and earlier ADT initiation can cause toxicities that lower quality of life (QOL). We tested the hypothesis that elevated cancer anxiety leads to earlier ADT initiation for BCR in older men.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of older patients with BCR of PCA (n = 67). Patients completed questionnaires at presentation and each follow-up visit until initiation of ADT. PCA-specific anxiety was measured with the Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer (MAX-PC). Other collected data included demographics, clinical information, and general anxiety information. Treating oncologists were surveyed about their recommendations for ADT initiation. The primary outcome was the time to ADT initiation. Univariate, multivariate logistic regression, and time-to-event analyses were conducted to evaluate whether cancer anxiety was a predictor of earlier initiation of ADT.
RESULTS: Thirty-three percent of patients initiated ADT at the first or second clinic visit. Elevated PCA anxiety (MAX-PC>16) was the most robust predictor in multivariate analyses of early initiation (odds ratio [OR], 9.19; P = .01). PSA also independently correlated with early initiation (OR, 1.31; P = .01). PSA did not correlate with MAX-PC.
CONCLUSION: Cancer anxiety independently and robustly predicts earlier ADT initiation in older men with BCR. For older patients with PCA, earlier ADT initiation may not change life expectancy and can negatively impact QOL. PCA-specific anxiety is a potential target for a decision-making intervention in this setting.
Department of Medicine, Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. wdale@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu