Study Highlights the Importance of Centralizing Radical Prostate Cancer Treatment

A new study shows a correlation between the proximity of prostate cancer treatment options to a patient’s residence and the type of radical treatment they receive. The findings appeared in BJU International.

In this national population-based study, researchers analyzed data on 16,621 men diagnosed with intermediate risk of prostate cancer between radical prostatectomy (RP) or radical radiation therapy (RT) between January 2017 and December 2018 in the English National Health System (NHS). The investigators estimated travel times to treatment using a Geographic Information System and used logistic regression to analyze the impact of relative proximity of treatment options and treatment received. In total, the analysis focused on 78 NHS hospitals.

The results showed that of the NHS hospitals that provide RT or RP for prostate cancer, 41% provide both, 36% provide RT and 23% provide RP. The researchers observed that compared to men who had both treatment options available at their nearest center, men were less likely to receive RT if their nearest center offered RP only, and the extra travel time to a hospital providing RT was over 15 minutes away. They noted that conversely, men were more likely to receive RT if their nearest center offered RT and the extra travel time to a hospital providing RP was the same time interval (15 minutes).

“The relative proximity of prostate cancer treatment options to a patient’s residence is an independent predictor for the type of radical treatment received. Centralization policies for prostate cancer should not focus on one treatment modality but consider all treatments to avoid a negative impact on treatment choice,” the researchers observed.