A team led by Ron Chen, MD, MPH, a UNC Lineberger member and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, has won a three-year, more than $1.7 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

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Ron Chen, MD, MPH, is a UNC Lineberger member and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology.

CHAPEL HILL – A UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center research team has won new funding for a study of prostate cancer surveillance frequency after treatment.

Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, a UNC Lineberger member and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, has won a three-year, more than $1.7 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

The funding will support a study to assess the optimal frequency for prostate-specific antigen testing after treatment. PSA testing is the standard method for checking for prostate cancer recurrence, but it’s unknown how often PSA surveillance testing is needed.“There is almost no research to directly address how often patients need to be monitored for recurrence after prostate cancer treatment,” Chen said. “Ideally, monitoring frequency would differ by how aggressive the cancer was, treatment received, and life expectancy of the patient. This study is aimed at addressing this issue that affects the several million prostate cancer survivors in the United States.”

Chen will serve as principal investigator of a study that will compare PSA testing every three, six verses 12-months to see if there are differences in survival, follow-up procedures or treatments, side effects, and quality of life for patients.

The researchers hypothesize that patients with a low risk of recurrence may experience more harm than benefit from frequent post-treatment surveillance, while patients with a high risk of recurrence may have improved survival from frequent surveillance.

The PCORI award has been approved pending a business review and issuance of a formal contract. Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, an an assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, a UNC Lineberger member and an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine, serve as co-investigators on this study.

For more information about the study, go here.