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Management of Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer


GU CONNECT expert, Prof. Gert De Meerleer provides his perspective on the management of oligometastatic prostate cancer.


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Good afternoon everybody, my name is Gert De Meerleer. I’m a radiation oncologist working in the Leuven University Hospitals in Belgium.


My speciality domain is urological oncology, and more importantly implementation of modern radiation techniques in the treatment of prostate cancer and also the implementation of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy into oligometastatic disease. For the moment I work as Head of Clinics in my department.


So, in the next 60-90 seconds I will give you some headlines and summary of what I’m going to talk about.


Oligo-recurrent oligometastatic prostate cancer


I’m going to speak about the oligo-recurrent oligometastatic prostate cancer, a disease status in which modern imaging using PSMA PET-CT is for the moment the standard of care. Because if you find oligometastatic disease, meaning 1-3 metastatic spots you can treat these patients with what we call metastasis-directed treatment, combined with a short term of systemic treatment being for the moment, androgen deprivation therapy, Maybe in future, new ARTA or androgen receptor targeted agents will become available in this setting.


The purpose of this metastatic directed treatment is to postpone as long as possible palliative ADT and by doing this, also increasing the quality of life of the patient, and also decreasing the socio-economic cost for the society.


Metastasis-directed treatment


Results from randomised and non-randomised trials clearly have shown that you can postpone the start of palliative ADT with 3-5 years without adding any toxicity. So in a lot of European countries, using metastasis-directed treatment in oligo-recurrent prostate cancer has become state of the art, provided you use top of the line biological imaging to detect this disease.


So, when a patient becomes a relapsing patient after treatment of the primary tumour the use of top of the bill biologic imaging, meaning in prostate cancer PSMA PET-CT, will increase the number of patients that present with oligometastatic disease and some very important randomised trials have studied the use of what we call metastasis-directed therapy in this patient population.




The STOMP trial which was published in the journal of clinical oncology two years ago, they randomised between metastasis-directed treatment versus active surveillance, in patients presenting with up to 3 metastatic spots after radical treatment of the primary tumour and STOMP showed that by using metastasis-directed treatment you could significantly postpone the time that you needed palliative ADT or androgen deprivation therapy.

An update of this trial, presented at ASCO GU last year, also for the first time suggested that CRPC or metastatic CRPC prostate cancer could also be postponed by using metastasis-directed treatment.


However, the major issue remains, whether this metastasis-directed treatment should be combined with systemic treatment or a period of systemic treatment or not, we don’t know yet. A lot of randomised trials are investigating this question and I think the results will be there in 2-3 years.




Meanwhile, we have the ORIOLE trial, who investigated the same as the STOMP trial, and also clearly showed by using stereotactic ablative radiotherapy you could significantly increase progression-free survival compared to active surveillance.


So, these two randomised trials clearly have shown the benefit of metastasis-directed treatment, important to know, without inducing toxicity it’s a nearly atoxic treatment.


But whether systemic treatment will play an important role or even when new systemic treatments will have a role in this setting, is a subject of ongoing randomised trials, and personally I believe that a combination of stereotactic body radiotherapy with a certain period of systemic treatment will be the future in this specific patient category.


So, everybody thank you very much for listening. Of course, also on behalf of GU CONNECT. If you want to have more information, please go to, and there you can download all the slides, all the presentations for free.

Gert De Meerleer is currently head-of-clinics at the department of Radiation Oncology at University Hospital Leuven.  His main field of interest is urologic oncology with a focus on implementing modern radiation technology in the treatment of prostate cancer, kidney cancer, testicular cancer and to a lesser extent, bladder cancer.  He has pioneered the implementation of stereotactic body radiotherapy in the treatment of oligometastatic prostate cancer, which has led to a paradigm shift in the treatment of these patients.   Gert De Meerleer successfully defended his PhD in 2000.  In this PhD, he described the implementation of intensity-modulated radiotherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer.  Since then, he (co-)promoted several other PhD’s, most of them dealing with the implementation of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (including arc therapy) in the treatment of urological and, to a lesser extent, gynaecologic malignancies.     He is an active member of the multidisciplinary working group of urological malignancies at Leuven University Hospital.  He has also (co-)authored more than 150 A1 publications, most of them in the field of urological oncology, co-edited several booklets on prostate cancer and was granted several times and by different organizations (FWO, VLK, Stichting tegen Kanker, Movember) for his scientific research.   He is full professor at Leuven (KUL), with a main focus on scientific research in the treatment of urologic malignancies, with a special focus on the interaction of stereotactic body radiotherapy and systemic treatments.  He pioneered the implementation of metastasis-directed therapy in the treatment of oligometastatic urologic malignancies.   Gert De Meerleer is co-president of the Belgian Radiotherapy Awareness and Visibility Organization (BRAVO),  board member of Scientific Summits, a high-level scientific Belgian organization and a member of the scientific jury of the “Federation against Cancer”.    He is an experienced international speaker at urologic and oncologic congresses, a reviewer for several international cancer organizations and high-ranked journals and is also involved in teaching within Belgium and Europe.
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