NCI Grant to Supplement Comparative Effectiveness Research Study of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology in the UNC School of Medicine and Bryce Reeve, PhD, associate professor of Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health have been awarded a four-year, $1,124,226 grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This grant supplements a parent study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to monitor the recovery, mental well-being and quality of life of prostate cancer patients during the two years following treatment. Both researchers are members of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology in the UNC School of Medicine and Bryce Reeve, PhD, associate professor of Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health have been awarded a four-year, $1,124,226 grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  This grant supplements a parent study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to monitor the recovery, mental well-being and quality of life of prostate cancer patients during the two years following treatment.  Both researchers are members of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The North Carolina Prostate Cancer Comparative Effectiveness and Survivorship Study will survey approximately 1,500 prostate cancer patients with diverse age, ethnic characteristics and educational backgrounds from throughout North Carolina. Using patient-provided data, the study will measure patients’ health-related quality of life before treatment and three, 12 and 24 months after treatment. Men receiving treatment for prostate cancer will report their experiences and perspectives as they relate to physical, mental and social aspects of health and impact of treatments on bowel, urinary, and sexual functioning.

Research indicates that these post-treatment periods are critical for assessing patient-centered outcomes, as many symptoms of physical and psychological distress increase significantly following treatment, and then partially recover within one to two years.  The study will use the National Institute of Health’s Patient-Reported Outcomes Measure Information System® (PROMIS®) assessment tools.

The NCI funded study will add critical knowledge about the reliability, validity and responsiveness of the PROMIS measures, including how well the PROMIS measures perform across groups that vary in race/ethnicity, age, and education.  The data collected on the PROMIS measures will better inform understanding of how prostate cancer and its treatments impact the lives of men and identify the optimal treatment that will improve the quality and quantity of their lives.

 “This study brings two strengths of UNC investigators -- population sciences and quality of life research -- together. The study will make important contributions in assessing the use of this quality of life instrument in cancer patients,” said Chen.

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