Major grant for patient-centered prostate cancer outcomes research

Dr. David Penson and colleagues at Vanderbilt University in Nashville have received a $2 million research award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study patient-reported outcomes and compare the effectiveness of treatment of localized prostate cancers. A summary of the scope of this research is available in a media release from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Quoted in the media release, Dr. Penson states simply that

The goal is to find out what works best, in which patients, and in whose hands.

The research team will focus, over the next 3 years, on data from 3,600+ men diagnosed with prostate cancer in five states in 2011.

Clearly this research will include data on the short-term quality of outcomes of men treated surgically, with radiation therapy, and on active monitoring programs. Whether it can include enough patients who get more innovative forms of treatment, such as focal therapy or high-intensity ultrasound (if and when HIFU gets approved by the FDA) is less clear.

We badly need to be able to give men better guidance about the types of therapy that are most appropriate for them as individuals and what they can reasonably expect as outcomes.

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