Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Temple and Fox Chase developing interactive program to assist prostate cancer patients

19.07.2002


When a man is first diagnosed with prostate cancer, the initial visit to the doctor becomes a blur. Complex decisions about treatment now face the patient, yet formulating adequate questions is often difficult. Further clouding the picture is the tendancy of some physicians to only recommend treatment options in which they specialize.

To empower patients facing these difficult and complex decisions, Temple University’s College of Engineering and the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC), armed with a joint two-year, $200,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute, are developing an interactive, computer-based program to provide comprehensive information to men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The program, called Prostate Interactive Educational System (PIES), will present relevant disease and treatment information that is tailored to the patient’s information seeking preference.

The program is being designed by Dr. Brian Butz, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Temple, and Dr. Michael A. Diefenbach, health psychologist and associate member of the division of population science at FCCC.

"There is a need for patient information, particularly with prostate cancer, because the patient has the option of several treatment methods such as surgery, radiation or seed implantation," says Diefenbach. "There are several equivalent treatment options, all of which can potentially have a significant impact on the quality of life of the patient."

The program will use an interactive expert system that was previously developed by Butz for use as a tutorial program for electrical and computer engineering students. That system is presently in beta testing at about a half-dozen colleges and universities.

The PIES program will be modeled as a "virtual" health center consisting of a number of rooms, including a reception area, physician offices, consultation rooms, a library, and a group meeting room.

"It will be very interactive and easy to maneuver," says Butz. "For example, if a patient wants to talk to a physician, he can use the software to talk to a urologist or a radiation oncologist and then ask the physician questions, which the program will answer.

They’ll be able to go to a virtual library and read about things or find Web sites where they can go and get additional information." Butz says right now a patient can access information about prostrate cancer via the Internet, "but it’s like a big dump truck coming in and unloading all the information on you."

Butz and Diefenbach hope that the program, contained on a CD, will serve as catalyst for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer to formulate questions for their physician and will help them make an informed decision on possible treatments.

"The patient has a lot of clinical, as well as psychological, factors to consider before making a treatment decision. If the patient is lucky, their doctor will present several treatment options. And he will then turn the decision over to the patient," explains Diefenbach. "A lot of patients are not used to that kind of role. Normally, they go to a physician and they expect the physician will tell them what kind of treatment they should have.

"Right now, a lot of patients seek information from a variety of different sources," he adds. "They go to a Web page, they go to the library, they talk to friends and family. What our program will do is combine a lot of information from various sources and present it in an easy-to-understand, concise manner."

The program will also feature a "virtual" support group, comprised of actual prostate cancer survivors. The patient will be able to ask the support group members about such things as how they coped with their situation, how they made their treatment decision, and how it impacted their lives.

"PIES will allow a patient to seek out and ask," says Butz. "Our program will find out how much a patient wants to know and if they seem like an individual who wants more, it will offer you more."

"One of the novel aspects of our program is that while the patient is going through the program, he will have the opportunity to jot down notes in a virtual notebook," adds Diefenbach. "The program will ask the patient to list his major concerns at the end when he’s done. And those concerns are then incorporated into a report."

Two reports will be generated at the completion of the program. One is for the physician who can see what issues concern the patient most and those issues can then be addressed first by the physician.

"We think this structures the interaction between the physician and the patient in a much more efficient way," says Diefenbach. "It would ensure that the patient would receive the information that is important to him."

The second report will summarize the information that the patient has accessed and serve as a reminder for the patient to go back and access other information if he so chooses.

Butz and Diefenbach expect PIES to be available to Fox Chase patients in 2004, and hopes eventually to modify the program to serve breast cancer patients.

Preston M. Moretz | EurekAlert

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>