Patterns of practice in the management of prostate cancer: results from multidisciplinary surveys of clinicians in Australia and New Zealand in 1995 and 2000

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate and compare patterns of practice in prostate cancer management in Australia and New Zealand from 1995 to 2000, as there are insufficient randomized trials to guide clinicians in the management of prostate cancer.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS

This study represents the two largest published surveys of Australian and New Zealand clinicians dealing with prostate cancer. We sent structured questionnaires on the management of prostate cancer patients to 804 urologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists in Australia and New Zealand in December 2000. We compared responses to a similar survey of 579 specialist clinicians in 1995.

RESULTS

The response rates were 56% in 1995 and 62% in 2000. In the management of clinically localized disease, the proportion recommending surgery or radiotherapy remained relatively constant between 1995 and 2000, although there was an increase in the use of brachytherapy and adjuvant hormonal therapy, and a reduced tendency to treat pelvic nodes. In the treatment of locally advanced disease, there was an increased use of hormonal treatment and local radiotherapy, with a reduction in the use of total androgen blockade and orchidectomy. In managing positive margins after prostatectomy, there was a clear lack of consensus, with a wide variety of treatment options proposed.

CONCLUSIONS

Practice has changed in several areas in 2000 compared to 1995, but not all changes were influenced by the publication of randomized trials or evidence-based guidelines.

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