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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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Working to include Yukoners in APCaRI

APCaRI, represented by John Lewis and Catalina Vasquez, met with many Yukoners in Whitehorse recently to discuss the potential of including the North of 60 men in the registry and their samples in the biorepository. Sean Secord (photographed with John and Catalina), formerly with the Yukon Hospitals Foundation, talked with John on CBC Whitehorse radio about the challenges that Yukoners with cancer, and their families, have to manage and overcome to get testing and treatment. They are formidable; a recent article by Simkin et al., 2017 evaluated cancer mortality rates in the Yukon from 1999 to 2013 and found that they were elevated for prostate, female breast and lung, and colorectal cancers compared to both urban and rural populations in Canada South of the Yukon. The authors suggested that the high Yukon rates are, in part, due to the high percentage of Yukoners living in rural and very remote communities, making it necessary for patients to have to travel long distances for diagnoses and treatment. But even if the cancer patient lives in Whitehorse, (Yukon capital, population 25 085), cancer care options are limited due in part to a lack of oncologists and the specialized equipment needed.
John and Catalina met and had stimulating discussions with many people dedicated to improving cancer care in the North including the Yukon Ride for Dad organizers, representatives from the medical and laboratory communities and people living with cancer, and their families.
APCaRI is determined to find a way to include the Yukon men in the registry so that their valuable medical information and samples can be added to the prostate cancer research initiative and be an important part of improving prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.

- Perrin Beatty