IMPROVER: A survey for prostate cancer patients and healthcare professionals
IMPROVER (Involving Men with Prostate Cancer in Engaged Research) is a national survey aiming to collate the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals in the early detection, diagnosis, and management of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in Ireland. One in seven men in Ireland will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over the course of their lifetime. Early detection of the aggressive form of the disease is vital to save lives.
IMPROVER (Involving Men with Prostate Cancer in Engaged Research) is a national survey being led by Associate Professor Antoinette Perry and her research team at University College Dublin (UCD) in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society and Breakthrough Cancer Research. The aim of this survey is to collate the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals in the early detection, diagnosis, and management of prostate cancer.
This will help Dr Perry and her research team to identify the most pressing unmet needs for men, their families, and for the professionals working in this space. This knowledge will help to inform research undertaken by Dr Perry’s team, which aims to improve our understanding of prostate cancer and to develop improved early detection and monitoring tests.
In particular, data from this survey will directly impact the development of a new urine test that the team is developing, epiCaPture, for non-invasive detection and monitoring of prostate cancer. epiCaPture is a urine DNA test that Dr Perry’s team is developing to help decide who and when to biopsy. Research to date, supported by the Irish Cancer Society and other funders, has shown that epiCaPture can detect 85% of aggressive prostate cancer.
If successfully validated, epiCaPture could enable clinicians to make more informed decision making, helping to risk-stratify patients. For patients, epiCaPture is a painless, non-invasive urine test, far less traumatic and stressful than an in-hospital biopsy. The team is working on developing epiCaPture as a frontline early-detection/screening test to reduce over-detection of low-risk prostate cancer and as a monitoring tool for men living with low-risk prostate cancer and on active surveillance.
The IMPROVER survey is a result of a wonderful collaboration between patients, clinicians and scientists. It was designed by UCD researchers in partnership with the research teams at the Irish Cancer Society (Dr Claire Kilty) and Breakthrough Cancer Research (Dr Frances Drummond) with significant input from prostate cancer patients, nurses, urologists, general practitioners, radiation oncologists, and biomedical scientists.
Several focus groups were held earlier this year with patients and clinicians to identify the key issues around which to develop the survey. Prostate cancer patients played a key role in designing and reviewing the survey questions. It has been created with a view to quantifying the difficulties experienced by patients during the diagnostic pathway. This knowledge will be critical in delivering patient-centric solutions.
The IMPROVER survey is open to all males who have been tested for prostate cancer (whether cancer was detected or not) and healthcare professionals involved with prostate cancer detection, diagnosis and management.
The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous. We would really appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey and to share this survey with a friend or colleague.