The NHS have published an online tool to help men with prostate cancer.
The researchers who developed the tool were from the University of Cambridge, the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service in the UK, and from the Singapore General Hospital in Singapore.
The tool can show the potential effects of treatments such as surgery or radiotherapy, compared with "wait and see" approaches.
The tool is specifically for use in men with prostate cancer that's localised and not spread outside of the prostate gland.
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UK researchers have developed a tool to estimate a man's chances of surviving 15 years after a prostate cancer diagnosis, based on age, cancer type and other health problems.
Localised prostate cancer can grow very slowly, causing no problems, but sometimes can grow quickly and needs more intensive treatment.
It's hard to predict what will happen to an individual. Sometimes the best choice between radical treatments like surgery, or having regular checks to see whether the cancer is growing, is unclear.
Prostate cancer treatments can have serious side effects, such as incontinence and erection problems, so it may be preferable to avoid treatment that's not essential.
This new tool, called Predict Prostate, is available on the NHS. It was developed using data from a large group of UK men and tested using other groups of men with prostate cancer.
When patient details and treatments were put into the tool, it was found to be an accurate tool for distinguishing between men who would be expected to die from prostate cancer or not.
As such the tool should help men make better-informed decisions, along with their doctors.
But it's new and needs to be tested more widely, so it can only give a guide, not a precise prediction of what will happen.
Researchers used the UK National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service database to obtain information from 10,089 men diagnosed with prostate cancer that had not spread (non-metastatic cancer).
It was done in the east of England between 2000 and 2010.
They recorded measures including:
- other medical problems
- prostate specific antigen (PSA) test result score
- tumour grade and stage
- the first treatment the men had for prostate cancer
The researchers then looked to see how many men were still alive 10 and 15 years later, and whether they'd died of prostate cancer or another cause.
The cohort of men were split randomly 70:30. In the main group of 7,062 men, they used this information to construct a statistical model that could detect which of these factors affected men's survival and how they worked in combination.
This allowed them to separate out the effects of surgery and radiotherapy treatment so they could see whether they made a difference to men in individual situations.
They then tested the model in the remaining 3,027 men. The researchers used it to predict how long they lived, then compared this to what actually happened.
Finally, the model was tested on a separate group of 2,546 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Singapore to see if it could work for a completely different group with a different ethnic background.
The researchers also compared it against existing risk modelling tools for prostate cancer.
This model underpins a new web tool and decision aid to inform the decision-making process for patients and clinicians available at www.prostate.predict.nhs.uk.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Links available in full article
Link to NHS prostate cancer treatment tool
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