Few clinical issues have polarized the oncology community as much as screening for prostate cancer, with advocates of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing vocal on one side and skeptics just as vocal on the other. At the NCCN 19th Annual Conference, Dr. Peter R. Carroll and Dr. Andrew J. Vickers tackled the controversy surrounding early detection of prostate cancer, focusing attention on the randomized trial results at the heart of the matter; over-detection (the Achilles’ heel of screening); and the rationale behind the new, streamlined 2014 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Prostate Cancer Early Detection, which emphasize selective early detection and treatment and are tightly aligned with the NCCN Guidelines for Prostate Cancer.
Peter R. Carroll and Andrew J. Vickers
Christopher E. Desch
Harold J. Burstein
William T. McGivney
Zeeshan Butt, Sarah K. Rosenbloom, Amy P. Abernethy, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Diane Paul, Debra Hampton, Paul B. Jacobsen, Karen L. Syrjala, Jamie H. Von Roenn, and David Cella
Cancer fatigue has been defined and described as an important problem. However, few studies have assessed the relative importance of fatigue compared with other patient symptoms and concerns. To explore this issue, the authors surveyed 534 patients and 91 physician experts from 5 NCCN member institutions and community support agencies. Specifically, they asked patients with advanced bladder, brain, breast, colorectal, head and neck, hepatobiliary/pancreatic, kidney, lung, ovarian, or prostate cancer or lymphoma about their “most important symptoms or concerns to monitor.” Across the entire sample, and individually for patients with 9 cancer types, fatigue emerged as the top-ranked symptom. Fatigue was also ranked most important among patients with 10 of 11 cancer types when asked to rank lists of common concerns. Patient fatigue ratings were most strongly associated with malaise (r = 0.50) and difficulties with activities of daily living, pain, and quality of life. Expert ratings of how much fatigue is attributable to disease versus treatment mostly suggested that both play an important role, with disease-related factors predominant in hepatobiliary and lung cancer, and treatment-related factors playing a stronger role in head and neck cancer.