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Home » Men's Healthcare » Funding for two new projects will improve detection and treatment for prostate cancer

Mr David Galvin

Consultant Urologist, Mater and St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Dr Sibilah Breen

Director, Clinical Quality, Movember, Australia

A leading prostate cancer charity has unveiled new funding for two new projects, including a clinical registry, to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

The Clinical Quality Registry, to be launched this year, will gather critical prostate cancer data to enable clinicians to improve the care and treatment they deliver. Funded by Movember, the registry is part of the Irish Prostate Cancer Outcomes Research (IPCOR) programme. It builds on the earlier IPCOR1 study, which ran until 2020 and assessed the impact prostate cancer had on men’s quality of life.

Benchmarking prostate cancer treatment

The IPCOR2 clinical registry will collect high-quality, real-time data on men with prostate cancer, allowing year-on-year and hospital-to-hospital comparisons and benchmarking Irish patient outcomes against international standards.

Consultant urologist David Galvin, based at the Mater and St Vincent’s Hospitals in Dublin, specialising in prostate cancer, says: “It will provide information and feedback along with patient-reported outcomes, so we can measure how our patients are doing almost instantaneously and compare all our results across Ireland.” Galvin, also IPCOR Principal Investigator, says doctors can additionally monitor patient progress through questionnaires while the registry can inform healthcare providers when making funding decisions by showing which treatments work best for patients.

The Irish registry will link to registries in Australia and New Zealand, meaning treatment outcomes can be compared between men in those countries and Ireland and feed into Movember’s global cancer registry. “That means that we can benchmark Irish results with our international collaborators,” adds Galvin.

It will provide information and feedback along with patient-reported outcomes, so we can measure how our patients are doing almost instantaneously.

Mr David Galvin, Consultant Urologist, Mater and St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Boosting prostate screening

Galvin heads the EU-based PRAISE-U prostate cancer screening project and aims to encourage early detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer and ensure patients receive the relevant treatment options.

“We think there will be an overall reduction in prostate cancer, though that may be limited by the fact that the population is getting older, so there is a general feeling that there is a tsunami of prostate cancer coming down the tracks,” he continues. “We want to meet that tsunami with smart PSA testing, so we don’t over-detect and over-treat the disease going forward.”

Through the charity’s support, patients will be monitored more closely. Their outcomes will be checked with the clinical data to ensure that treatments are delivered for the right patients and in relevant settings.

Irish registry to improve care

Movember’s director of clinical quality, Sibilah Breen, who oversees the charity’s clinical quality registries, explains that while the Irish registry will also have research applications, a more significant benefit will lie in the data acquired to feed back to clinicians and improve care. She says: “There is evidence that by collecting and feeding back data to clinicians, you can positively impact their practice and thereby improve the outcomes for men.”

There is also the hope that the registry will trigger longer-term funding from central government, the HSE and National Cancer Programme in Ireland. It can raise the profile and awareness of men’s health issues in the same way that has been achieved with resources for the female population with pelvic and breast cancers. There is an initial three-and-a-half years of funding for IPCOR2, which will formally launch in November to tie in with the annual Movember fund-raising drive.

Registry shows positive change

Breen says the registry in Australia and New Zealand is entering its 11th year and has already produced positive change. “In 2015,” says Breen, “we had 25% of low-risk cancers treated with surgery, rather than the clinically recommended less aggressive forms of management, and men having serious side effects. Now, we are down to 13%, so we can see these changes over time.”

Alongside patient outcome data, the Irish registry will also cover other factors important to men, with contributions from the lived experience patient group. In addition, blood and urine samples will be collected from men to create a biobank to enable scientists to try and find new targets for therapy, leading to further collaborations.

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