The HAROW study: An example of outcomes research: A prospective, non-interventional study comparing treatment options in localized prostate cancer - Abstract

BACKGROUND: The HAROW study was initiated to investigate the provision of ongoing medical care for patients with localized prostate cancer in a prospective, noninterventional setting and to investigate treatment options (Hormonal treatment, Active surveillance, Radiotherapy, Operation, Watchful waiting) under real-life conditions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 3169 patients were enrolled by 259 participating physicians in private practice in Germany. The median follow-up was 28.4 months. At 6-month intervals, the treating physicians reported data on clinical parameters, clinical course of disease, and quality of patient-physician interaction.

RESULTS: The highest proportion of patients with low risk tumor was found in the defensive treatment groups (AS and WW). As expected, the AS group showed the highest progression rate. In all, 112 AS patients (23.9%) changed therapeutic strategy, 21 of them upon medical advice in the absence of any signs of progression. Metastases were seen most frequently in the WW group (1.5%). No metastases occurred in AS patients. Medical support in managing the disease reached high scores in all groups, the highest in AS.

CONCLUSION: The data enable a differentiated comparative analysis of patient and tumor characteristics of each treatment group. Indication of AS was predominantly consistent with the guideline. The high rate of AS termination based on the physician's recommendation rather than on clinical progression is remarkable, and may be interpreted as a kind of insecurity in dealing with AS. Results regarding communication indicate that patients appreciated being involved in treatment decisions.

Written by:
Herden J, Ernstmann N, Schnell D, Weißbach L.   Are you the author?
Klinik und Poliklinik für Urologie, Uniklinik Köln, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937, Köln, Deutschland.  

Reference: Urologe A. 2014 Dec;53(12):1743-52.
doi: 10.1007/s00120-014-3705-z

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25412911

Article in German. Prostate Cancer Section