An audit of referral and treatment patterns of high-risk prostate cancer patients in Alberta


  • Majed Alghamdi University of Calgary Al-Baha University
  • Amandeep Taggar University of Calgary
  • Derek Tilley CancerControl, Alberta Health Services
  • Marc Kerba University of Calgary
  • Xanthoula Kostaras CancerControl, Alberta Health Services
  • Geoffrey Gotto University of Calgary
  • Michael Sia University of Calgary



Introduction: We aimed to determine the impact of clinical practice guidelines (CPG) on rates of radiation oncologist (RO) referral, androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), radiation therapy (RT), and radical prostatectomy (RP) in patients with high-risk prostate cancer (HR-PCa).

Methods: All men >18 years, diagnosed with PCa in 2005 and 2012 were identified from the Alberta Cancer Registry. Patient age, aggregated clinical risk group (ACRG) score, Gleason score (GS), pre-treatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA), RO referral, and treatment received were extracted from electronic medical records. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine associations between RO referral rates and relevant factors.

Results: HR-PCa was diagnosed in 261 of 1792 patients in 2005 and 435 of 2148 in 2012. Median age and ACRG scores were similar in both years (p>0.05). The rate of patients with PSA >20 were 67% and 57% in 2005 and 2012, respectively (p=0.004). GS ≤6 was found in 13% vs. 5% of patients, GS 7 in 27% vs. 24%, and GS ≥8 in 59% vs. 71% in 2005 and 2012, respectively (p<0.001). In 2005, RO referral rate was 68% compared to 56% in 2012 (p=0.001), use of RT + ADT was 53% compared to 32% (p<0.001), and RP rate was 9% vs. 17% (p=0.002). On regression analysis, older age, 2012 year of diagnosis and higher PSA were associated with decreased RO referral rates (odds ratios [OR] 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39–0.61; OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34–0.76; and OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.39–0.61), respectively [p<0.001]).

Conclusions: Since CPG creation in 2005, RO referral rates and ADT + RT use declined and RP rates increased, which demonstrates a need to improve adherence to CPG in the HR-PCa population.


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How to Cite

Alghamdi, M., Taggar, A., Tilley, D., Kerba, M., Kostaras, X., Gotto, G., & Sia, M. (2016). An audit of referral and treatment patterns of high-risk prostate cancer patients in Alberta. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 10(11-12), 410–5.



Original Research