Starting shot for large-scale study on prostate cancer

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Major study on prostate cancer therapy started in Germany

The treatment of prostate cancer is to be examined and evaluated in a large clinical study. The German Cancer Aid, statutory and private health insurers, the German Society for Urology, the German Society for Radiation Oncology, the Professional Association of German Urologists, the German Cancer Society and the Federal Association of Prostate Cancer Self-Help want to evaluate the four common forms of therapy for prostate cancer in a cooperation that has been unique to date.

On Tuesday, the starting signal was given in Berlin for one of the "largest clinical studies in the field of oncology", according to the German Cancer Aid. According to the initiators, the PREFERE study "for the first time comparably examines the common treatment options for early forms of prostate cancer in around 7,600 patients." A total of around 1,000 resident urologists and radiation therapists and at least 90 test centers nationwide are to participate in the study. "The PREFERE study is the largest German urological research project of the past 50 years," emphasized the director of the Clinic for Urology and Pediatric Urology at the Saarland University Hospital, Professor Dr. Michael Stöckle. Through the large-scale project, the experts want to "create safety for the patient and the medical team" and provide answers to the question of the best individual therapy, added Dr. Fritz Pleitgen, patron of the study and president of the German Cancer Aid.

Four common forms of prostate cancer therapy are being examined According to a report by the German Cancer Aid, prostate cancer is "the most common type of cancer in men in Germany." The Robert Koch Institute estimates the number of new cases at around 67,600 per year. According to the experts, there are usually four possible treatment options to choose from: surgical removal of the tumor, external radiation, so-called brachytherapy (treatment using radiation sources permanently placed in the prostate) or "active monitoring with regular checks and the initiation of further ones Therapy steps as the disease progresses. ”To enable an objective assessment of the different treatment options, the German Cancer Aid and the statutory and private health insurers will provide around 25 million euros by 2030 for the large-scale study on prostate cancer therapy. Professor Dr. will head the study. Michael Stöckle and Professor Dr. Thomas Wiegel, Director of the Clinic for Radiation Therapy and Radiation Oncology at the Ulm University Hospital.

Large-scale study with direct benefits for patients The starting point for the large-scale study on prostate cancer therapy was a decision by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), which "initially suspended the inclusion of so-called brachytherapy in the outpatient service catalog of the statutory health insurance funds" because insufficient data was available to evaluate this form of therapy. This shortcoming is now to be remedied by the long-term large-scale project. However, according to Uwe Deh, Managing Director of the AOK Federal Association, the starting shot for the study is already having positive effects on patient care. "From now on, all affected men will benefit from the comprehensive and scientifically sound information about the advantages and disadvantages of all four treatment options," emphasized Deh on behalf of the statutory and private health insurance companies. The patients involved would be cared for by experienced specialists in designated study centers, with therapy "based on current scientific knowledge and at the highest medical level", according to the German Cancer Aid. (fp)

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