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Why Are First-Generation Prostate Cancer Drugs Still Used?

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Published on May 21, 2018

With the innovations produced by the new class of second-generation prostate cancer drugs, why are first-generation therapies still used? Prostate cancer Dr. Tomasz Beer from OHSU Knight Cancer Center explains why your health care team may choose an older treatment method instead of a more modern therapy, and how patients can benefit from using both generations of drugs. Watch now to find out more about what factors can influence your prostate cancer treatment plan. 

This virtual town meeting was a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power in partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We thank Astellas and Sanofi for their support.

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Transcript | Why Are First-Generation Prostate Cancer Drugs Still Used?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Jeff Folloder:               

You mentioned drugs that have been in existence for a while being used in ways that aren’t necessarily FDA-sanctioned. Well, given that there are now Generation 2 drugs, and eventually, Generation 3 drugs, why would somebody use a Generation 1 drug?

Dr. Beer:                     

Well, first of all, there’s no question that we’re using those first-generation drugs less frequently for the very reason that your question implies. But, the first-generation drugs are less expensive, and they’re not as tightly scrutinized by payers if they’re used in this off-label setting. So, sometimes, when we want to prescribe one of these medications where it hasn’t been studied, if it’s cheap, nobody cares. If it’s really expensive…

Jeff Folloder:               

Everyone cares.

Dr. Beer:                     

…everyone cares.

And, lastly, we know that these first-generation drugs can be used, and the second-generation drugs still work afterwards. That’s how they were studied. So there might be an individual patient circumstance where you really are getting a good benefit out of the first-generation drug, and you’re comforted by the knowledge that you’ve got a Plan B still in your back pocket. So, there are those situations, but there’s no question that in many situations, we have replaced the first-generation drugs with the more potent second-generation drug.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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