Prostate cancer is very common. About 1 in 8 Canadian men will be diagnosed with the disease. However, many prostate tumours are not aggressive. They are slow growing, localized (have not spread), and do not present an immediate risk to the man’s overall health.
Knowing which prostate cancers are more aggressive is important for choosing the most appropriate treatment for each patient. Physicians currently use information about the patient’s age, health, and the tumour, based on a biopsy, to determine whether the patient falls into a low-, intermediate-, or high-risk group.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews the Prolaris Cell Cycle Progression Test
The Prolaris cell cycle progression test is a genomic test, meaning it looks at genetic characteristics of the prostate cancer tumour. The test measures how quickly the cancer might be progressing. This added information can give patients and health care professionals a more individualized understanding of the patient’s risk of dying from prostate cancer and could help them decide on treatment.
We looked at whether the Prolaris cell cycle progression test leads to better outcomes for patients and what it would cost Ontario’s health system to publicly fund this test for men diagnosed with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer. We also looked at how patients with prostate cancer use information, and the types of information they seek, to make decisions about their treatment.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: Neither the Ministry nor Cancer Care Ontario have any current plans to fund this test.