Skip to main content

Evidence to Improve Care

Prolaris Cell Cycle Progression Test for Localized Prostate Cancer

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends against publicly funding the Prolaris cell cycle progression test for treatment selection in men with newly diagnosed, low- or intermediate-risk, localized prostate cancer.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report

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.

Prolaris Cell Cycle Progression Test for Localized Prostate Cancer: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
May 2017

Prostate Cancer Patient Perspectives on the Use of Information in Treatment Decision-Making: A Systematic Review and Qualitative Meta-synthesis (PDF)
May 2017

Use of this site, and the interpretation of the information contained here, is subject to important terms and conditions. Use of this site and information except in accordance with these terms and conditions is expressly prohibited.

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.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


Sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly notifications of when draft recommendations are open for feedback

A senior couple looking at their tablet together

Let’s make our health system healthier

Join Our Patient, Family and Public Advisors Program

Patients, families and the public are central to improving health quality.

Man smiling

Sign up for our newsletter

Are you passionate about quality health care for all Ontarians? Stay in-the-know about our newest programs, reports and news.

Health Quality Connect - Health Quality Ontario's newsletter - on an iPad and a cell phone