Should I be switching from my current therapy? When do you switch to something new?

Expert Opinion published on June 28, 2013 in Treatment
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A. Oliver Sartor, MD
C.E. and Bernadine Laborde Professor of Cancer Research
Medical Director
Tulane Cancer Center
New Orleans, Louisiana
Should I be switching from my current therapy? When do you switch to something new?

Hello, my name is Dr. Oliver Sartor. I am the Laborde professor of the cancer research at Tulane Cancer Center and also the medical director for the Cancer Center. I know there are a lot of new treatments out there, and one of the big questions that I get is should I be on something different? Should I be switching from my current therapy? When do you switch to something new? The way I look at is there are three parameters that you need to look at. You need to look at the biochemical parameters, and these are things like PSA, alkaline phosphatase, LDH. You need to look at your radiographic parameters, and these are things like the bone scan and CAT scan or the MRI. You need to look at your clinical parameters, and these might include things that you report such as fatigue or pain or loss of appetite, issues like that. When I am making decisions, what I am actually doing is looking at all three of these factors at once. How does the patient feel is probably the most important question. Biochemical parameters are important, but they do not dominate. The scan parameters are very, very important, but they do not dominate. If the patient is doing well, I do not always switch right away, and in the context of looking at each of these variables, the patient is always the most important parameter. Now, PSA is important, alkaline phosphatase is important, LDH is important, scans are important, but how you feel is most important to me.

Last modified: June 28, 2013
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