Additional Advances in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Research With Kathleen Burns, MSN, NP

At the 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress, Kathy Burns, a Nurse Practitioner at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, sat down with Oncology Data Advisor® to discuss her presentation regarding the educational need for nurses to stay up-to-date with the best treatment and management options in prostate cancer.  

Oncology Data Advisor: Welcome to Oncology Data Advisor. Today, we’re here at ONS Congress, and I’m joined by Kathy Burns. Thank you so much for coming on today.

Kathy Burns, MSN, NP: Thanks very much for having me. I always wanted to say that. That’s so funny. My name’s Kathy. I’m a Nurse Practitioner in Genitourinary (GU) Medical Oncology at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center outside of Los Angeles, California.

Oncology Data Advisor: Awesome. So, you just presented a session called What I Tell My Patients on Prostate Cancer. Would you like to tell us what you talked about in the session?

Ms. Burns: The Research to Practice Group has done this program in conjunction with ONS Congress for almost 15 years, and it’s always a very interesting and conversational program. It’s a panel discussion, two medical oncologists and two nurse practitioners who specialize in GU medical oncology, and they actually do multiple diagnoses. This one happened to be about prostate cancer, and it gives us a chance to educate about treating prostate cancer patients, present some data, as well as the nurse practitioners get the opportunity to kind of tell some stories of patients who fit those categories and how they managed with their treatment or despite their treatment.

Oncology Data Advisor: Great, and I believe you were focusing on the patient stories aspect of it.

Ms. Burns: Yes. So, my job, I had three patient examples to present based on some changes in data that we’ve seen. One was sort of an early-stage patient. The theme in prostate cancer this year is sort of intensification or de-intensification of treatment. So, how do we add multiple drugs to others? Or, I guess, what I should say is, how do we identify patients that are at high-risk for recurrence who may need intensification of treatment, and how do we manage them through those symptoms? One was a sort of early diagnosis just after prostatectomy, and one was more of a middle diagnosis with a poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, which is sort of a newer agent that we’ve taken from breast cancer and moved to prostate cancer. And the other one was a more advanced cancer patient who’s on a new agent called lutetium.

Oncology Data Advisor: Have there been any updates in either treatment strategies or, I’m sure there are, any nursing management strategies?

Ms. Burns: So, as far as treatment strategies goes, that’s what has become so interesting is we sat in a planning meeting about 20 minutes before we went on, and there was literally data from American Urological Association (AUA) meeting that we were talking about to incorporate. So, yeah, it’s incredibly current, but I’ve done this program for him a few times and it’s important for us to really bring it down to the patient level, what can nurses do as advocates, and it’s always a nice conversational group.

Oncology Data Advisor: Definitely. So, you mentioned what nurses can do as advocates. What would you say were the take-home messages from this meeting?

Ms. Burns: I think one thing that I talked about during the program is the challenge of nurses to stay on top of new technology, new treatments, and new testing. So specifically with the PARP inhibitors, the science behind genomic and genetic testing can be super complicated, and I think it’s our role to try and explain it to patients in very simple terms. What I kind of expressed on that topic is hear how we explain it, which took probably five or 10 minutes, and develop sort of a one-minute elevator speech on how you can explain that to a patient. Why PARP? What does this alphabet soup of mutations mean and what does it mean in terms of treatment?

Oncology Data Advisor: Anything else about prostate cancer management you’d like to share with nurses who aren’t in attendance today?

Ms. Burns: Yeah, I think prostate cancer is a rapidly growing field, and it’s the highest incidence of cancer in men. So, my suggestion is it’s going to be a population that most of us are going to have interaction with, and to learn the basics of the mainstays of treatment, plus some of these newer agents as well.

Oncology Data Advisor: Definitely. Well, thanks so much for joining today. Enjoying all of this.

Ms. Burns: You’re welcome.

About Ms. Burns

Kathy Burns is a Nurse Practitioner in the GU Medical Oncology Division at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, California. Ms. Burns is passionate about education, mentoring, and collaboration to help grow the language and understanding of cancer and clinical research. She also puts great importance in providing and caring for patients and their families with personalized healthcare.

For More Information

Agarwal N, Burns K, Roethke S & Srinivas S (2023). What I tell my patients: expert insights into patient education on new treatments and clinical trial participation – moderated by Neil Love, MD (Part 10 – Prostate Cancer). Presented at the 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress. Available at:

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *