Does Clinical Evidence of Heterogeneity Impact Treatment Selection? A Case Study of Abiraterone for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Authors:
Boshen JiaoThe Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, University of Washington, and

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 PhD, MPH
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Yaw A. NyameDepartment of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

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 MD, MS, MBA
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Josh J. CarlsonThe Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, University of Washington, and

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Louis P. Garrison JrThe Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, University of Washington, and

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Anirban BasuThe Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, University of Washington, and

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Background: Two pivotal randomized controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrate that abiraterone acetate + prednisone (AAP) combined with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) significantly extends the survival of men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) compared with ADT alone. Their subgroup analyses indicate that the survival benefit is significant for younger men but not older men. We aimed to assess whether publication of the RCTs was associated with differential real-world AAP utilization by age groups. Methods: Using TriNetX electronic medical records data collected from 43 healthcare organizations across the United States, we performed a difference-in-differences event study among men with newly diagnosed mHSPC observed from June 2014 to June 2019. Eligible subjects were identified based on a comprehensive published algorithm. We analyzed the change in utilization rate of AAP before versus after publication of the RCTs among men aged <70 years versus ≥70 years, adjusting for demographic factors and clinical conditions. Results: Our study included 6,888 men with newly diagnosed mHSPC with 12,738 observations, of whom 46% were aged <70 years. The prepublication trends of AAP utilization were similar between the age groups, whereas publication of the RCTs was associated with a 3.5% higher adjusted uptake rate of AAP among younger men (95% CI, 1.2%–5.8%) relative to older men. This estimate reflects an uptake rate nearly 3 times higher than would have been expected had younger men followed the same utilization trends as older men. The estimates remained consistent throughout the postpublication period. Conclusions: Our study suggests that publication of the RCTs was associated with faster uptake of AAP among younger versus older men with newly diagnosed mHSPC, despite the absence of clinical guidance for differential treatment selection. This finding highlights the importance of confirmatory studies among older men, considering the uncertainties of subgroup analyses in RCTs.

Submitted April 4, 2022; final revision received May 30, 2022; accepted for publication June 9, 2022.

Author contributions: Conceptualization: All authors. Data curation: Jiao, Basu. Formal analysis: Jiao, Basu. Methodology: Jiao, Nyame, Basu. Visualization: Jiao, Basu. Writing—original draft: Jiao. Writing—review & editing: Nyame, Carlson, Garrison, Basu.

Disclosures: Dr. Nyame has disclosed serving as a consultant for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics. The remaining authors have disclosed that they have not received any financial consideration from any person or organization to support the preparation, analysis, results, or discussion of this article.

Correspondence: Boshen Jiao, PhD, MPH, The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute, University of Washington, Health Sciences Building, Room H-375, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA, 98195. Email: bjiao@uw.edu

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