Positive Advances in Prostate Cancer Treatment Could be Hampered by New U.S. Task Force Guidelines on PSA

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HRA’s Newest Study Explores These and Other Trends in Prostate Cancer

Physicians, patients, and managed care payors are reacting favorably to Zytiga, the newest oral treatment for prostate cancer and to advances available via robotic surgery options, according to new research available from HRA – Healthcare Research & Analytics. Despite this positive outlook, HRA’s research also found that advances in prostate cancer treatment may be hampered by the newly released guidance from the United States Preventative Services Task Force. The change in guidelines, issued in fall 2011, indicates that otherwise healthy men should not undergo PSA testing due to the risk of over-diagnosing through false positives or aggressively treating latent or nonaggressive cancers early.

The PSA test, though perceived as “imperfect” across Key Opinion Leaders in HRA’s research, is viewed as the best available noninvasive test indicating prostate cancer risk early in the disease. While KOLs in the research suggest that Urologists may continue to test despite the guidance, there is some fear that PCPs may forego the testing and that by the time men are symptomatic, the disease will have progressed too far for a successful cure.

“We know PSA has severe limitations, but we also feel it’s the best test we have at this point for detecting disease,” Thomas N. Kirk, President/CEO of Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network and a key opinion leader in HRA’s research said. “We know the risk of over-diagnosis and over-treatment… My hunch is that Urologists will continue to test as they always have. PCPs will likely be swayed by the recommendations.”

HRA’s newest study, Prostate Cancer – Leveraging the Power of the Patient, explores the prostate cancer patient’s journey from a cross-stakeholder perspective and is based on qualitative and quantitative primary research among treating physicians and patients. It also includes perspectives from pharmacy directors representing major U.S. payors and KOLs from academia as well as patient advocacy groups. The research covers a variety of topics including triggers for testing, diagnosis, staging, physicians’ awareness and use of pharmaceutical products and medical procedures, alignment of treatment objectives among physicians and patients, as well as response to product concepts.    

“There are so many options now coming to market for the treatment of prostate cancer, and the patient is often at the hub of decision-making,” said John Maglione, President and General Manager of HRA. “It’s a critical time for market leaders to know how these developments will affect treatment. Patients in this category take a large portion of control of these decisions, and understanding how they make these decisions in light of their available treatment options, costs, and risks is important. Our newest study is designed to help decision-makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and device industries better understand the decision-making power of all constituents.”

HRA – Healthcare Research & Analytics is a fresh blend of experienced healthcare market researchers employing a comprehensive, unique process and analytical approach leading to better business decisions. HRA offers a unique spectrum of quantitative and qualitative, custom and syndicated market research services to support the business needs of the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device markets.

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