The APC Society
The APC Society is a non-profit organisation that aims to improve the treatment and care of men with advanced prostate cancer. The APC Society organises the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) and is the legal representative of APCCC in Switzerland.
In advanced prostate cancer, rapid and successful drug development has resulted in multiple treatment options that require careful decision-making for individual patients. Clinicians face the increasingly difficult task of choosing from multiple potentially effective treatments that also are costly and potentially toxic. Further developments in novel next-generation imaging methods, biomarkers, molecular characterization, and genetic assays have led to many open questions and areas for which there is sparse or low-level evidence to support clinical decision-making.
The Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) was initiated to provide a forum to discuss and debate current questions on the clinical management of men with advanced prostate cancer, with a special focus on these unclear situations. Two days of the conference are dedicated to high-level presentations, discussions, and debates to summarize and conceptualize the available literature and evidence.
The conference concludes with voting by an interdisciplinary expert panel on pre-defined consensus questions targeting areas of clinical relevance. Following the conference, a manuscript with these expert recommendations is published in a peer-reviewed journal (Annals of Oncology in 2015; European Urology in 2017).
Aims of APCCC
- Provide an update on the current standard of advanced prostate cancer management, with a focus on situations with no high-level evidence for a specific treatment option.
- Advanced prostate cancer is defined by APCCC as locally advanced disease, biochemical recurrence and metastatic disease.
- Offer a highly educational program consisting of invited lectures, debates and discussions led by a panel of international and interdisciplinary prostate cancer experts.
- Translate knowledge by summarising and conceptualising current standards of advanced prostate cancer management and disseminating the results of consensus discussions and votings.
- At the end of the meeting, convene these experts to discuss and vote on predefined questions regarding key areas of debate or lack of evidence regarding the optimal treatment of men with advanced prostate cancer. The conference and the development of these questions have been described in detail (see APCCC 2015 and APCCC 2017).
- After the meeting, publish the consensus summary in a high-impact medical journal.
- Conference attendees will be able to participate in the two days of discussions as well as the consensus panel discussion. Attendees are encouraged to interact with panel members to facilitate and encourage international collaboration.
The scientific committee consists of international prostate cancer experts. The tasks of the scientific committee are:
- Select topics for the APCCC
- Select expert panellists for the APCCC
- Co-author APCCC manuscript
- Serve as scientific supervisors for post-APCCC satellite meetings
Expert Consensus Panel
- The APCCC expert consensus panel consists of multidisciplinary cancer physicians and scientists with a strong academic track record who are involved in clinical or translational research in the field of advanced prostate cancer.
- Panellists should be actively seeing patients with advanced prostate cancer and regularly making clinical management recommendations.
- Panellists vote on consensus questions at the end of the APCCC conference. After the conference, panellists co-author a manuscript that summarises these questions and recommendations.
- Geographic representation is important; therefore, experts may be invited to join the panel even if their academic track record is not equal to that of some experts from top academic centres.
- About 20% of panellists are replaced between one APCCC and the next. Panel members who have missed one APCCC may re-join the panel at a subsequent conference.
APCCC Advisory Committee
- The APCCC advisory committee consists of non-voting panellists and other experts.
- Non-voting panellists include experts who are not involved in clinical management and decision-making (e.g. radiologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, and statisticians). Non-voting panellists are co-authors on the APCCC manuscript.
- Other experts on the advisory committee include patient advocates and delegates of relevant organisations, such as Movember and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
A detailed summary of the APCCC questions and voting results is published shortly after the conference in a peer-reviewed journal. The journal is chosen by the scientific committee. Internationally, advanced prostate cancer is treated by a variety of specialists, including urologists, clinical oncologists, and medical oncologists. Therefore, the target journal must have a wide readership.
Re-use of APCCC questions in APCCC Satellite meetings
APCCC satellite meetings are encouraged for country-specific or regional educational purposes.
In order to receive the APCCC logo/stamp, these satellite meetings must:
- Be approved by the APC Society (through an application for endorsement)
- Generally be sponsored by more than one industry partner
- Involve at least one member of the APCCC scientific committee or consensus panel
- If the satellite meeting uses APCCC consensus questions, then these questions must be used in the original, unchanged format. However, a subset of consensus questions can be selected based on specific needs.
- The re-use of consensus questions for purely academic purposes is free. However, for meetings with industry sponsors, a financial contribution to the APC Society is required.