Movember Study to Test Whether Remote Monitoring Can Improve Prostate Cancer Care

Reno, Nevada ( -- Men with advanced prostate cancer would suffer less pain and anxiety and would be less likely to be hospitalised, if their doctors were automatically alerted to contact them when their health began to fail, a new study is aiming to show.

The Movember-funded IRONMAN EMPRO (Engaging Men in Patient Reported Outcomes) study is one of the first in the world to test whether using regular remote monitoring of prostate cancer symptoms to trigger follow-up calls by clinicians would deliver better outcomes for men than the current standard of care.

Up to 180 men who are already part of Movember’s global IRONMAN study – an international patient registry for men with advanced prostate cancer – will be recruited to take part in the EMPRO sub-study1. The men will be asked to complete a simple five-minute online questionnaire on their health and wellbeing once a month.

The data is then fed back to the patient’s medical team. If a man’s responses indicate that he is suffering from anxiety, pain, fatigue, social isolation, insomnia, or depression, he will receive either tailored advice on how to manage his symptoms via Movember’s TrueNTH program or a follow-up call from his medical team within 48 hours.

The sub-study, which is expected to run until May 2024, has activated its first two sites at Macquarie University Hospital in Australia and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the US. A further five sites will follow - Eastern Health in Australia, Cross Cancer Institute in Canada, Guys & St. Thomas Hospital, London, UK, and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in the UK, and the US Weill Cornell Medical Center in the US.

The $2.5 million AUD EMPRO sub-study is second to be launched as part of Movember’s Global Cancer Real World Evidence Network, which brings together a large group of hospitals and research institutions across 19 countries to accelerate improvements in the survival and quality of life of men living with prostate and testicular cancer.

Previous studies in other advanced cancers, including lung cancer and breast cancer, have indicated that integrating Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) into real-time care has a positive impact on survival.

Kellie Paich, Global Director of Clinical Quality and Survivorship, said: “Effective symptom monitoring is essential during cancer treatment. The current approach relies on patients being able to accurately identify or recall symptoms that require medical attention and initiate contact with their care team.

“This is one of the first studies to test the concept of whether integrating Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) into real-time care can improve quality of life and outcomes, including fewer hospital admissions, for men with advanced prostate cancer.

“We hope that it will contribute to better understanding the experiences of men with advanced prostate cancer and provide an evidence base for best practices for advanced prostate cancer care.”

Dr Daniel George, a medical oncologist at Duke Cancer Center and Duke Cancer Institute in the US, and a member of the IRONMAN executive committee, said: “We’ve changed advanced prostate cancer into a chronic disease, but in doing so we frequently lose touch with patients between visits.

“The EMPRO study will test a home-based intervention to alert us to changes in patient symptoms before they result in serious complications, allowing us to act on their behalf.  In the increasingly busy heath care climate, these tools will become essential to optimizing patient care and outcomes.”

Dr Deborah Enting, consultant medical oncologist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in London, which is taking part in the EMPRO study, said: “For many men advanced prostate cancer has become more like a chronic disease. A patient's symptoms often do not change rapidly, and this might result in men not reporting these concerns in between hospital visits.

“The EMPRO study will test an intervention that is controlled by patients themselves, empowering them to alert us to changes in symptoms before they become more serious. In an increasingly busy health system, these tools will become essential to optimising patient care and outcomes.”

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. Globally, more than 1.4million men were diagnosed with the disease in 2020.

1The EMPRO sub-study will be sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium, New York

Source: Movember Study to Test Whether Remote Monitoring Can Improve Prostate Cancer Care. 2022. Movember.