Prostate Cancer Patients Make Better Treatment Choices

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Embargoed until 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 23, 2008
Contacts: Beth Bukata
[email protected]
Nicole Napoli
[email protected]
1-800-962-7876
Press Room Phone – Sept. 21-24
617-954-3377 or 617-954-3378
After Hours
703-431-2332
New Web site Helps Doctors and
Prostate Cancer Patients Make Better Treatment Choices
Boston – Doctors have created a free online computer tool, the CaP Calculator, that provides
cancer specialists access to the latest prostate cancer research and helps them better individiualize each
patient’s treatment options, according to a study presented in a scientific session on September, 23,
2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting in
Boston.
External beam radiation therapy, radiation seed implants (also called brachytherapy), and surgery
are the standard treatments for early-stage prostate cancer. This Web-based tool allows doctors to enter
information about a patient’s cancer stage, based on their rectal exam, PSA levels and biopsy
information. With the help of CaP Calculator, doctors can more accurately evaluate the risk of the
disease spreading beyond the prostate, and the effectiveness of surgery and radiation treatment. It also
provides an individualized printout to allow doctors to review the results with each prostate cancer
patient.
“Men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer often have more than one treatment choice
available,” Matthew Katz, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Saints Medical
Center in Lowell, Mass., said “It is often challenging for the patient and his family to make an informed
choice about which treatment is better, unless adequate information is available. We designed CaP
Calculator as a resource to help patients to talk to their doctors and feel more confident in their treatment
decisions.”
Although the tool was created for doctors to use and is not available for patients to access
directly, the intent is for cancer specialists, including radiation oncologists and urologists, to input a
patient’s data to have an informed discussion with the man about all his treatment options. Men with
prostate cancer who are interested in this tool should ask their prostate cancer specialist about accessing
this free online tool.
“CaP Calculator still needs to be tested in clinical trials to see if this decision support tool can
help reduce men’s distress and uncertainty with a new prostate cancer diagnosis,” Dr. Katz, who plans to
test and develop this tool further with co-investigators at Harvard Medical School and the Cleveland
Clinic, said.
For more information on radiation therapy for prostate cancer, visit www.rtanswers.org.
The abstract, “CaP Calculator: An Online Decision Support Tool to Improve Evidence-based
Doctor-Patient Communication for Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer,” will be presented in a
scientific session at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2008. To speak to the lead author of the
study, Matthew Katz, M.D., please call Beth Bukata or Nicole Napoli September 21-24, 2008, in the
ASTRO Press Room at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center at 617-954-3377 or 617-954-3378.
You may also e-mail them at [email protected] or [email protected]
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