Evaluation of Trends in Treatment of Metastatic Hormone Sensitive Prostate Cancer (mHSPC) Across Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published:November 29, 2022DOI:


      • We conducted this survey to understand how the COVID pandemic has impacted affected managment treatment of patients with mHSPC. Fifty medical oncologists across Canada responded to the questionnaire.
      • Not surprisingly, an increased uptake of ARATs and reduced use of docetaxel was observed.
      • How this trend will impact the uptake of triplet therapy (ADT+Docetaxel+ARAT), downstream treatment choices and overall outcomes remains to be seen.



      In metastatic hormone sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC), treatment intensification with either docetaxel or an androgen-receptor-axis targeted therapy (ARAT), added to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the new standard of care. To better understand patterns of treatment intensification in Canada and specifically how it has been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted a national survey of genitourinary medical oncologists from across Canada.


      Using SurveyMonkey, we conducted an online survey of 119 medical oncologists in Canada from January 15 to January 27, 2021. The survey consisted of 16 questions, including demographics, and asked specifically about their approach to managing mHSPC before and during the pandemic.


      Overall there were 50/119 (42%) respondents. Most were male (65%), from Ontario (35%), practicing in academic centers (71%), with 45% reporting their practices focused primarily on genitourinary malignancies and one other tumor site. The majority were in practice 1 to 5 years (34%). Overall 65% indicated their practice patterns had changed since the pandemic, with 51% offering more ARATs and less docetaxel chemotherapy. In low volume mHSPC, the use of ARATs increased from 73% to 79%, while the use of docetaxel remained unaltered at 2%. In high volume disease, the use of ARATs increased from 63% to 84%, while the use of docetaxel decreased from 37% to 14%. Use of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) with docetaxel chemotherapy increased by 35%. Post-pandemic, 45% reported they intend to maintain these changes. Only 18% reported they had prostate cancer patients test positive for COVID-19, and all patients recovered.


      Management of patients with mHSPC in Canada has changed during the pandemic, with increased uptake of ARATs and reduced use of docetaxel, a trend expected to continue beyond the pandemic. How this trend will impact uptake of triplet therapy (ADT + ARAT + Docetaxel), downstream treatment choices and overall outcomes remains to be seen.


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