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Johns Hopkins Pediatric

Reassurance for Men on Active Surveillance

January 01, 2017

As many as 5 percent of men on active surveillance drop out of it every year – not necessarily because their prostate cancer has gotten worse, but because they hate the uncertainty.

Urologist H. Ballentine Carter, M.D., believes a new computer program will help. The program was designed with funding from the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Two scientists from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Yates Coley, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow, and Scott Zeger, Ph.D., a biostatistician, compiled 20 years’ worth of results from men in the Brady’s Active Surveillance Program — repeated PSA measures and prostate biopsy results — to make a predictive model.

“The model informs men about the likely future results of PSA tests and prostate biopsies,” says Carter, “and also predicts what type of cancer would be found if the prostate was removed and thoroughly examined. This patient support tool will help men make informed decisions, and when appropriate, reassure them that remaining in surveillance is safe.” An example of the model can be viewed at: prostate-surveillance.

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