Attendees can expect a spirited debate Monday afternoon when four experts discuss the balance of quality versus cost when monitoring patients with low risk prostate cancer. The 30-minute panel discussion, titled Where is the VALUE in CAP Active Surveillance Monitoring? Cost and Quality, will begin at 1:30 pm during the Prime Time plenary session in the Esplanade Ballroom at Moscone South.
Moderator David F. Penson, MD, MPH, the Hamilton and Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and professor and Chair of the Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University, said as more men with low risk prostate disease choose active surveillance, the issue of cost versus quality is becoming an even greater concern for urologists.
“As we develop new technology like prostate MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] or genetic markers, we start to run into this issue of cost versus quality more,” Dr. Penson said. “How advanced or aggressive do we need to get with our active surveillance, and how much are we willing to spend? How much is good enough? And what isn’t enough?”
Dr. Penson said urologists must find that balance.
“We want high quality active surveillance with patients receiving good care. We don’t want to miss any cancer that needs to be treated, and we want patients resting easy at night,” he said. “But we must balance that against increasing costs, so we need guidance. How often do we need to follow patients? What sort of biopsies do we need to do?”
Dr. Penson will be joined on the panel by four experts on active surveillance for prostate cancer, including Peter Pinto, MD, Head of the Prostate Cancer Section and Director of the Fellowship Program in the Urologic Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health; Todd Morgan, MD, associate professor of Urology at the University of Michigan; and Matthew Cooperberg, MD, MPH, FACS, associate professor of Urology and the Helen Diller Family Chair in Urology at the University of California, San Francisco.
“Dr. Cooperberg really understands the effectiveness of active surveillance,” Dr. Penson said. “Through his research, Dr. Cooperberg has approached the challenges of prostate cancer from many angles.”
The fourth panelist, Marc Dall’Era, MD, associate professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Urology at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, also brings an expert understanding of active surveillance and has published literature on its costs.
“Dr. Dall’Era really understands the nuances of the costs of active surveillance and where clinicians might be able to reduce those costs,” Dr. Penson said. “When you look at these presenters together, you see that you have four people that can really inform us on the value of active surveillance.”
Dr. Penson said attendees will come away with a better understanding of which surveillance methods are worth the cost and which may not be. Attendees will also be able to identify patients who will be best served by active surveillance compared to those who would be better served by upfront treatment, he said.