Research: 2018 – Nipissing

Project Title:
Factors associated with prostate cancer stage at diagnosis, treatment and survival: the effects of geographic region and rurality.
Investigators:
Dr. Michael Conlon PhD, Health Sciences North Research Institute, NorthEast Cancer Centre
Dr. Andrew Pearce MD, Health Sciences North Research Institute, NorthEast Cancer Centre
Dr. Ryan Carlson MD, Health Sciences North Research Institute, NorthEast Cancer Centre
Lead Investigator Bios:

Dr. Mike Conlon holds a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics. He is a cancer epidemiologist and director of Epidemiology, Outcomes, and Evaluation Research at the Health Sciences North Research Institute. He holds academic appointments at Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI), is an Associate Professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), an Adjunct Scientitst at (ICES), and holds appointments at Laurentian and Lakehead Universities. He is the inaugral director the ICES North satellite site, which is located at Health Sciences North Research Insitute. His research interests are collaborative and often focus on causes and clinical outcomes from care, and health services associated research in NE cancer patients.

Dr. Andrew Pearce is the head of Service, Radiation Oncology and he and Dr. Ryan Carlson are clinical specialists (Radiation Oncologists) who treat men with prostate cancer at the North East Cancer Centre. They both hold appointments at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and have extensive clinical experience and knowldege related to diagnoses, treatment options, timing, and outcomes from care. They have previously, and continue to participate in observational, clinical, and trial research with a goal to optimizing outcomes from treatment in Northeastern Ontario for men with prostate cancer.

Project Abstract:
Prostate Cancer is the most common tumour occurring in Canadian men with over 20,000 new cases diagnosed annually, and therefore is one of the most clinically important cancers in men. The main curative treatments are surgical prostatectomy or radiation treatment either with an external beam treatment or internal brachytherapy, and treatment options and subsequent survival are dependent on a number of factors, with an important one being the stage at which the prostate cancer is diagnosed. Residents of the Northeast have known challenges with access to health care. This project will use population-level health systems data to assess care patterns in Northeastern Ontario men with prostate cancer. Identification of risk factors associated with stage at diagnoses, treatment received, and survival, and assessing the important role of sociodemographic variables on these outcomes will help us to identify opportunities to improve care for men in the Northeast who seek treatment for prostate cancer
Scientific Abstract:
Prostate Cancer is the most common tumour occurring in Canadian men with over 20,000 new cases diagnosed annually, and therefore is one of the most clinically important cancers in men. This is a population-based cohort study that will use administrative data to address the following hypothesis: Men in Northeastern Ontario are diagnosed with later-stage disease, and have poorer survival when compared to the rest of Ontario.
 
We provide the following objectives:
1) To identify a cohort of men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer in Ontario, and report the incidence rates within important geographic regions including Northeastern Ontario;
2) To determine the stage at diagnoses for all cases, and assess differences within geographic regions, as well as the role that other important sociodemographic variables may have with with later stage at presentation (i.e. age, income quintile, rurality, comorbidities, and others);
3) To determine the treatment received (stratified by stage at diagnoses) and assess differences across geographic regions;
4) To determine survival by stage, and assess differences based on geographic region, rurality, and other potential covariates.
 
This project will help to identify opportunities to improve prostate cancer outcomes for men in Northeastern Ontario.
Impact on prostate cancer patients:
This project has substantial opportunity to impact NE Ontario prostate cancer patients. By identifying factors associated stage at diagnoses, treatment received and overall mortality, measures can be developed to address identified gaps with the goal of providing highest quality care to all men in the Northeast.