Tool helps prostate cancer patients make quality-of-life decisions

An interactive decision support platform is enabling prostate cancer patients to make more informed treatment choices based on highly personalized estimates of outcomes.

The WiserCare decision aid leverages an evidence-based data model that provides a patient-specific view of likely outcomes, risks as well as benefits so that, working with providers, they can tailor treatment options to their quality-of-life priorities.

Outcome data from a PCORI-funded Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of Surgery and Radiation for localized prostate cancer (CEASAR) study, coordinated by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is being integrated into the WiserCare platform.

The goal of CEASAR—an ongoing multi-site research study conducting long-term follow-up on more than 3,600 men in the U.S. who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer—is “to help learn more about what treatment works best, for which patients and in whose hands,” according to VUMC.

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“The really cool thing about this study is the decision aid creates highly personalized estimates of outcomes for patients using the CEASAR data, in addition to helping patients think through their personal preferences,” says David Penson, MD, chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Urology and the Paul V. Hamilton, MD and Virginia E. Howd Professor of Urologic Oncology.

“There are a number of tools out there that guide men through the process, but I don’t think any of them use real data like this one does,” adds Penson. “To me, this is personalized medicine at its best, and I can’t tell you how excited I am that we are doing this.”

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“Academic surgeons usually aim to make an impact in the field by publishing in high-visibility journals, as was done with CEASAR,” says UCLA School of Medicine Vice Chair of Urology Christopher Saigal, MD, who developed WiserCare and teamed with Penson to apply for a PCORI grant to revise the tool using the CEASAR data. “However, many men with prostate cancer can’t access those journals.

“We hope that the UCLA-Vanderbilt collaboration will unlock the power of the data that is out there about prostate cancer treatment outcomes for men to use directly when considering treatment,” Saigal adds.

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