A three-year Pan-European project kicked off in Brussels Tuesday that seeks to reduce prostate cancer morbidity and mortality while avoiding overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
The project, called PRAISE-U (PRostate cancer Awareness and Initiative for Screening in the European Union), involves 25 institutions from 12 countries. More than 50 PRAISE-U members participated in a kick-off event for the prostate cancer screening initiative.
Prostate cancer is the number one cause of cancer mortality among northern European men; it is number two in western Europe and the U.S. Delayed diagnosis can lead to increased metastasis, which coincides with prolonged negative impacts on quality of life and high mortality rates.
The diagnostic pathway for prostate cancer has significantly improved in recent decades, but it can be further improved with new tools and strategies that can better detect cancer that poses a threat to patients.
In partnership with a network of consortium members, including researchers, healthcare professionals, social scientists, economists, and patients, PRAISE-U will work to design a cost-effective early-detection algorithm for prostate cancer screening that will facilitate the implementation of smart early-detection programs in EU member states.
PRAISE-U seeks to provide clear guidelines and quality assurance tools that can be used by pilot sites to demonstrate risk-based approaches that are effective, feasible, acceptable, and cost-effective. Aligning these guidelines and protocols across member states may better enable the collection and analysis of relevant data, according to the European Association of Urology, a member of the PRAISE-U consortium.
The PRAISE-U project consists of six work packages. Four are designed to gather knowledge, develop protocols for screening programs, pilot test the developed protocols, and evaluate the results. Two overarching work packages provide a framework that includes coordinating the project and disseminating the results. Together, these packages aim to build upon one another and contribute to the goal of minimizing overdiagnosis while reducing Europe’s prostate cancer morbidity and mortality rates.
“We are delighted to support the implementation of PRAISE-U and we are so glad prostate cancer is finally getting the attention it deserves as the EU’s most common male cancer,” said Guenther Carl-Ernst, chair of Europa Uomo, a prostate patient advocacy group, in a statement. “For us, every man whose cancer is detected too late, is one man too many.”