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Russ Greiner’s Team “PC LEARN”, tied for 1st in the Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge

Competing with 50 teams from around the world in the Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge, University of Alberta’s PC LEARN team tied for 1st in one of the 3 sub-challenges
to predict the survival and toxicity of Docetaxel treatment in patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer!

“The DREAM Challenge was an exciting opportunity for us to apply machine learning to real medical data and possibly to contribute to medical research.” said lead PI and APCaRI member Russ Greiner.

The primary benefit of this Challenge will be to establish new quantitative benchmarks for prognostic modeling in mCRPC, with a potential impact for clinical decision making and ultimately understanding the mechanism of disease progression. https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn2813558/wiki/70844

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The Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre has the highest accrual for a novel ultrasound study in prostate cancer

“We have enrolled over 400 patients at our site, reaching our enrollment goal much faster than all other sites across North America. We are now planning on adding in 250 more patients to this trial because of the encouraging results found with the first arm of the trial. Our site tied with the highest accrual goal and surpassed all other sites to meet our enrollment goal.”

The study is a “Multi-Center trial of high-resolution transrectal ultrasound versus standard low-resolution transrectal ultrasound for the identification of clinically significant prostate cancer”

The only definitive method for diagnosing prostate cancer is through a prostate biopsy. This procedure includes the use of an ultrasound machine to guide both freezing needles and biopsy needles into the prostate. The ultrasound machine that is currently in use is a low-resolution ultrasound machine which means that although it is good at seeing the entire prostate gland to guide the needles, it is often unable to visualize the prostate in enough detail to be able to see different lesions and areas of concern within it. Thus, many biopsy samples are taken systematically with two samples from each section of the prostate. Recently a new ultrasound machine has been created that gives images of the prostate with much higher resolution, allowing the radiologist performing the biopsy to see details within the prostate that were previously inaccessible. A study using this new high-resolution ultrasound machine is being completed at the Prostate Cancer Centre to compare the adequacy of this new machine to detect prostate cancer over the standard low-resolution machine. Over 650 patients will be enrolled in this study!

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- Eric Hyndman