Parc Taulí diagnoses 200 cases of prostate cancer every year
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This Sunday, June 11, is World Prostate Cancer Day, and every year around 200 new cases are diagnosed in Parc Taulí. High-grade prostate cancer is the most aggressive and deadly, with a prevalence of 50-60 new cases each year per 100.000 inhabitants.
The Urology Service and the Parc Taulí Laboratory Service incorporated the 'Select MDx' genetic test a year ago to detect patients at risk of suffering from high-grade prostate cancer. This test is based on the study of biomarkers present in the patient's urine which, added to a series of clinical and analytical parameters, provide the patient's risk of suffering from high-grade prostate cancer.
The test is indicated for patients with elevated PSA, with suspected prostate cancer, without a biopsy or with a previous negative prostate biopsy, to increase the cost-effectiveness of the test and decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies. Dr. Jesús Muñoz, from the Urology Service, emphasizes that "after one year of the incorporation of the test, a third of the annual number of biopsies has been avoided, an invasive procedure not without complications such as infection or bleeding". Despite the introduction of this new genetic test, during 2022 more than 400 biopsies were performed at Parc Taulí.
At Parc Taulí, around 60 radical prostatectomies are performed a year, it is a surgical intervention that consists of completely removing the prostate and part of the tissue that surrounds it, such as the seminal vesicles (the glands that help produce semen) and the ganglia nearest lymphatics.
Early detection, the most effective tool
This type of cancer is being detected earlier every time. In this sense, professionals have detected that there is more and more hereditary prostate cancer. "The number of patients who have a genetic mutation and who arrive at the hospital for an early diagnosis has increased. There have also been increased studies to check if there is a genetic alteration after the detection of prostate cancer to screen the family. All this is possible because the diagnosis has been perfected, not only clinical, but also molecular", explained Dr. Enrique Gallardo, from the Medical Oncology Service.
Also, in the last year, the Parc Taulí has started about sixty systemic or pharmacological treatments of high complexity. In addition, more than 30 patients have been included in different clinical trials.
Approach to prostate cancer with a multidisciplinary team of professionals
The diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with prostate cancer is approached from a multidisciplinary perspective at Parc Taulí, with a team made up of professionals from various specialties and areas that will soon be officially established as Multidisciplinary Complex Prostate Cancer Committee, where there will also be a representative of the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, center where patients are referred to receive radiotherapy treatment.
The Committee is made up of staff from the services of urology, oncology, radiodiagnosis, pathological anatomy, laboratory, pharmacy, nuclear medicine, clinical trials, among others. The purpose of this approach is to offer a personalized and patient-centered treatment. Dr. Gallardo points out that "in the care of oncology patients, diagnosis has been perfected, not only clinical but also molecular, and treatment, with the incorporation of new techniques and surgical instrumentation, such as the Da Vinci systems, and drugs that have shown improvement in patient survival".
Prostate cancer research
In the field of research, the healthcare professionals at Parc Taulí have participated in clinical trials with therapeutic modalities that have improved patient survival, many of them published in prestigious medical journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine or others
Specifically, Dr. Gallardo participated in the development of the tool to contribute to information and decision-making and share patient testimonies about different pathologies decisionscompartides.gencat.cat. The website informs about the different treatments, the risks and the benefits to help make an informed, responsible and shared decision with health professionals. In this sense, the empowerment of the patient to make decisions stands out, in this case, in localized prostate cancer.
The expertise of the healthcare professionals at Parc Taulí has made them benchmarks in the approach to prostate cancer at state level. For this reason, different meetings have been held at the hospital with experts from all over Catalonia in this cancer.