A study just completed by researchers at the Josephine Ford Cancer Center has resulted in the most comprehensive long-term prostate cancer survival model available to date. An interactive version of the survival model is available online at prostatecalculator.org. Patients and doctors who visit the site can obtain a personalized 10-year survival estimate based on age, race, a few clinical measures, and the kind of treatment being pursued. Once data have been entered, a simple mouse-click provides the prognosis.
Dr. Ashutosh Tewari, with the Josephine Ford Cancer Center (Detroit, MI) worked with investigators at ANNs in CaP (Denver, CO) to retrospectively identify a cohort of 1,611 patients with clinically localized prostate cancer as well as 4,538 age, race, and co-morbidity (those with additional diseases) matched controls. Based on demographic and clinical variables, propensity risk scoring was used to develop survival probability estimates for both patients and controls. Because the calculator, and the companion look-up tables published in the April issue of the Journal of Urology, provide a comparison with men with similar characteristics but who do not have prostate cancer, users receive a realistic estimate of the impact of prostate cancer on long-term survival.
Prostate cancer is the most common solid-organ male malignancy diagnosed in the United States, with an estimated 189,000 new cases each year. Currently, African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world (137 per 100,000 per year), and are 2.5 times as likely to die as whites. While the reason for this is not known, some research suggests that black men are often diagnosed at later disease stages. Dr. Tewari adds, "Our research indicates that African-American men also tend to undergo less aggressive treatment than whites, and additional studies by our group suggest that if they received the same treatments, their prostate cancer survival rates would be much closer to those of whites." The study also showed that a man’s level of co-morbidities can have as much or more of an impact on his chances of long-term survival than his prostate cancer alone.
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