Nasty or nice? Findings from a UK survey to evaluate the impact of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guidelines on the management of prostate cancer - Abstract

AIMS:Although the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guideline 58 (CG58) for prostate cancer management was expected to have a positive effect, several recommendations raised concern among UK physicians.

We conducted a survey of UK oncologists in 2008 and a second, similar survey in 2010 to assess views on these recommendations and to evaluate the change in opinion over time.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:Two semi-structured questionnaires were issued by the British Uro-oncology Group to society members in September 2008 and October 2010.

RESULTS:In 2008, 61 UK oncologists completed the survey; 60% agreed that CG58 would make a positive contribution towards improving patient care. There was strong opposition towards active surveillance as the first-line treatment for men with low-risk localised prostate cancer (49% disagreement); implementing 5 yearly flexible sigmoidoscopy post-prostate radiotherapy (51% disagreement); offering follow-up outside of the hospital (e.g. by general practitioners in primary care) for men with a stable prostate-specific antigen for ≥2 years (44% disagreement); and recommendations against docetaxel retreatment (47% disagreement) or bisphosphonate use (58% disagreement). In 2010, 77 UK oncologists completed the survey. The results were largely consistent with 2008, although several recommendations, particularly for localised disease, seem to have promoted a change in clinical practice, suggesting that they are facilitating a standardised approach. Compared with 2008, the 2010 results indicate a shift in favour of active surveillance (80% agreement) and primary care follow-up (59% agreement), but increasing opposition for docetaxel retreatment (57% disagreement). Opinions remained divided for flexible sigmoidoscopy and bisphosphonates.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite initial concerns, the CG58 seems to have had a positive impact on prostate cancer management in the UK, with adherence likely facilitating a standardised approach. However, with new data emerging, these findings underscore the need to regularly update guidelines. A revision of the CG58 is anticipated by 2014.

Written by:
Payne H, Clarke N, Huddart R, Parker C, Troup J, Graham J.   Are you the author?
Department of Clinical Oncology, University College Hospital London, London, UK.

Reference: Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2012 Oct 15. pii: S0936-6555(12)00283-X.
doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2012.09.001

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 23079099 Prostate Cancer Section