UVA Researchers Developing Tool to Help Prostate Cancer Patients Make Complex Treatment Decisions

UVA Researchers Developing Tool to Help Prostate Cancer Patients Make Complex Treatment Decisions
University of Virginia (UVA) Cancer Center researchers are developing a new tool to help prostate cancer (PC) patients weigh the potential risks and benefits of their treatment options. The app's engineering was kicked off after UVA researchers invited 22 experts in the field to provide feedback on their approach and identify the most urgent needs in the process. The group included prostate cancer patients, surgeons, oncologists, biomedical informatics experts, and industry representatives to discuss how a new tool could assist patients in improving treatment decisions after prostate removal. A paper resulted from the inquiry and was published in the journal BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. It was titled “Providing guidance for genomics-based cancer treatment decisions: insights from stakeholder engagement for post-prostatectomy radiation therapy.” Based on the stakeholders' input, researchers concluded that patients needed a way to compare treatment options in a personalized fashion, incorporating factors like age, personal priorities, genomics-defined risk of cancer recurrence, and other health conditions. "We basically have an analytic model, and we have a mock-up of what the app should look like," Dr. Timothy Showalter, MD, a co-author of the publication and a radiation oncologist at UVA, said in a press release. "The idea for this is that patients could play with t
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