As the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in men, prostate cancer (PC) is a major health care problem in the Nordic countries, where incidences will rise by 40% in the next 20-ys due to population aging. If detected early, PC can be cured, but advanced PC is lethal. However, current methods for PC diagnosis are highly suboptimal, leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of many indolent PCs, as well as delayed diagnosis of aggressive PCs that could have been cured if they had been detected earlier.
The overall idea of NorDCaP is to accelerate the cross-Nordic implementation of a new personalized medicine approach that will ensure better and more accurate PC diagnostics. This will significantly reduce over- and underdiagnosis of PC, improve quality of life and patient survival, as well as ensure higher quality in patient care and a more cost-effective and sustainable health care system.
Specifically, NorDCaP will leverage best practice PC diagnostics technologies and methods developed and scientifically proven by Karolinska Institutet and tested and implemented in real-life by Capio Skt Göran's Prostate Cancer Center. NorDCaP will also create an infrastructure to monitor diagnostics outcome, enabling continuous improvement based on local adaptation.
NorDCaP takes a novel and comprehensive personalized medicine view to improve PC diagnostics that is significantly better than current clinical practice. Key tools used by NorDCaP include the algorithm-based blood test Stockholm3, improved algorithm-based imaging (shortened and improved MRI cycle followed by targeted biopsies), improved pathology scoring (using AI to significantly improve quality and speed of uro-pathology), and algorithm-based handling of low-risk patients (the Stockholm3 test and MRI). Results from Capio Skt Göran's Prostate Cancer Center shows that our novel approach can significantly reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies and overdiagnosis of indolent PC, while at the same time identify more aggressive PC cases.
In a first phase, best-practice will be implemented at NorDCaP's existing pan-Nordic cluster of healthcare providers in Denmark, Norway and Finland. In a second step, the findings as well as the infrastructure established during this project will be used to improve PC diagnostics throughout the Nordic countries.