Prostate cancer is a significant health problem that is intensifying as our population ages. Representing 36% of newly diagnosed cancers in men each year and almost 10% of all cancer related deaths in men, the clinical management of prostate cancer places a considerable burden on our healthcare system and the patients who are diagnosed with this disease.
Many prostate cancers are diagnosed at an early stage in Alberta, yet our limited diagnostic tools prevent us from answering the simplest clinical question: Which prostate cancers require treatment? Which treatment will have the greatest impact? Not being able to definitively answer these questions lead to uncertainty for patients and physicians and ultimately results in a negative impact on the quality of life of patients living with prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer research during the past decade has resulted in many exciting new discoveries, yet few of these have made their way into the clinic for the benefit of patients. In particular, the development of biomarkers to diagnose and predict the outcome of prostate cancer at the time of screening remains the greatest unmet clinical need in prostate cancer. There has never been a more opportune time to tackle this need with a focused multidisciplinary effort.