Alicia Morgans: Hi, I am delighted to have here with me today Brenda Martone who is a nurse practitioner in medical oncology at Northwestern University and someone I am proud to work with. Thank you so much for speaking with me today.
Brenda Martone: Thank you, Alicia, for inviting me.
Alicia Morgans: Oh of course. Brenda, I wanted to talk with you today about the APCCC, which is coming up in just a couple of months and we’re really excited about that. This is the third APCCC conference which is really built around trying to think through with a bunch of experts these areas of gray data. In prostate cancer care where we don’t have clear phase three, level one evidence to tell us exactly how to deal with a lot of the things that we see in clinical practice.
I’d love to hear your thoughts as a clinician who is taking care of these men every day. Is there value in something like this? Because it’s certainly a fun conference and I think there’s value. But somebody who takes care of these patients every day, what do you think?
Brenda Martone: I am really looking forward to the conference just because I’ll be able to hear international experts in real-time debate and talk about what their experiences are and their data. It gives us a broader picture and it allows us to hear things and extrapolate some of that data to maybe the patients we’re seeing.
There are many different types of prostate cancer patients and some are very unique in terms of how they present. Prostate cancer can differ from man to man, so having the opportunity to gather with all of these providers and hear about their experiences, I think gives a more comprehensive data set or information that you can take and actually apply that to your clinical practice.
I’m just excited to actually be there when people are talking about this. It’s great to read about in papers, but there’s just something about being there and listening to the data and the arguments and people’s point of view. It just lends itself to a better experience and I think it’s learning. It’s more learning that happens.
Alicia Morgans: I agree. And I think it’s nice to have that to round out what you read in the paper, which is usually as cut and dry as it can be just to be clear. Even in areas that are unclear to try to be as clear as possible. Certainly, we’re excited to have you there and we can do … We’ll have to do another interview there because what we’ll also be filming to really translate those debates that are happening in the conference center into interviews. To have those debates and to have those conversations for people to listen to in addition to reading the paper, as you mentioned.
I think when you don’t have clear information and when clinical trials, as you said, do not include all of the heterogeneity that we see in our clinic, it’s nice to have some guidance on how do we take care of this individual man in front of us. Because it isn’t always clear.
And it’s interesting, too, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, to hear an international perspective because there are limitations sometimes in other places that are interesting to think about and may give us some creative solutions for how to take care of people here in the US, too.
Brenda Martone: Absolutely, in terms of what’s available for medications or treatments, what sort of testing can be done can vary from everywhere, even in the country here. Then I think it also, you’re right, it gives me more creativity. You can think a little bit more outside the box. We’re all very motivated by data because we definitely want to take care of our patients in the safest way possible. But actually hearing these other things gives a little bit more validity to some of our choices if they are a little bit outside the box.
Because we query people here almost on a daily basis if we get somebody who’s kind of unique. Just to have all the experts kind of do that in a comprehensive conference, I think is going to be fantastic.
Alicia Morgans: I agree. I’m excited, too, to hear about the changes in imaging that –
Brenda Martone: Me, too.
Alicia Morgans: That in some places like Germany and Australia they have access, and across lots of Europe actually, they have access to PSMA scans that we don’t have yet on a regular basis here in the US. So that will be exciting. And exciting, too, to think about issues of access, disparities both in practice and in clinical trials, and to think about these global issues. But what are your thoughts on imaging and what do you hope to learn about imaging as we see PSMA and other novel tracers coming into our clinical practice?
Brenda Martone: Since there are no agreed-upon set of guidelines, there are recommendations from all the large groups but nobody is cohesive and it doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. It’s just different. What I would hope is that we can have more concrete guidelines in terms of when to image and be more, what’s the word I’m looking for? Be more consistent with our scans.
Then also it’s going to be exciting to see the newer scans because I have seen in the clinical trials the different imaging modalities and what a difference it can make in some of these more sensitive scans. I’m going to be interested in how that gets translated into clinical practice. A lot of our information is on standard scans, so a lot of us are struggling with what to do with some of those more sensitive scans.
In the conference, I’m hoping to hear what those other international colleagues are doing and how they’re interpreting that and using that to manage their prostate cancer patients.
Alicia Morgans: I agree. Well, I think there’s a lot more to come and I know you and I are both very much looking forward to it. I look forward to our discussions when we do get to Basel and APCCC 2019. Thanks so much for your time, Brenda.
Brenda Martone: You’re welcome. Thank you.