Prostate News

News Release

18 December 2022

PCOR-ANZ Report: Significantly improved pathway to prostate cancer diagnosis is required if health outcomes for Kiwi men are to improve

While the just released Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry Australia and New Zealand (PCOR-ANZ) Annual Report confirms that early accurate diagnosis saves lives and improves quality of care, it also confirms that men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Aotearoa New Zealand remain significantly worse off, with poorer earlier accurate diagnosis, than their trans-Tasman cousins.

Reasons for this include poor access to MRI pre-biopsy in NZ, to targeted biopsy to confirm diagnosis when the presence of prostate cancer is suspected, and to timely PSA testing.

The Chair of PCOR-ANZ, Prof Frank Frizelle, says that the Report represents a large body of work from patients and professionals across the Tasman and demonstrates the significant effort that men with prostate cancer and their clinicians have put in, working together to provide data on the impact of treatment on their quality of life. “This data allows clinicians to refine treatment to try and improve the impact of treatment has on the patient’s quality of life,” he says.

The report suggests a number of measures to improve outcomes in Aotearoa NZ:

  • Better and more consistent guidance to GPs on both use of screening tools such as PSA testing and referral to specialist care and investigation. Timelier referral of appropriate patients will lead to earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes.
  • Improved national access to accurate prostate MRI scans will reduce the need for invasive biopsies as well as improve the accuracy of diagnosis through targeted biopsies.
  • Better access to contemporary targeted biopsy techniques would lead to more accurate diagnosis and better patient outcomes.

It also suggests that the proposed measures are likely cost neutral.  Some men will be immediately reassured, and others diagnosed and treated more effectively, saving lives and reducing harm from over-treatment.

The report from the Movember-funded trans-Tasman Registry includes information from 56,922 men across Australia and New Zealand who had a diagnosis of prostate cancer between 2015–2019, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) collected from 29,938 men 12 months after diagnosis /treatment for those men diagnosed within the period.

“I’m proud of the accuracy and completeness of data, which allows clear commentary on the Aotearoa NZ position, along with benchmarking with better off Australian men,” says consultant Urologist Mr Stephen Mark, Trustee of the Centre for Health Outcome Measures NZ (CHOMNZ), the administrators of the NZ section of the registry. “I look forward to members of the medical community, the public and patient groups making use of the information.”

The CEO of advocacy and patient information & service provider, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ, Mr Peter Dickens, welcomed this latest report from PCOR-ANZ, “we will take advantage of the report to further add to our deep understanding of the disease, which is now New Zealand’s most commonly diagnosed cancer, as well as use it to refine and improve our advocacy efforts on behalf of patients and their families”.

“We are proud to support the Centre for Health Outcomes Measures NZ (CHOMNZ), the PCOR-ANZ administrators, to generate valuable reports for clinicians and others from the PCOR-NZ data to improve outcomes for everybody who has received a prostate cancer diagnosis across Aotearoa New Zealand,” he said.

Movember’s Paul Villanti, Executive Director Programs, took the opportunity of the release of the report to welcome the new chair of PCOR-ANZ and emphasise the value of collaboration across the ditch. “Movember is delighted to see the appointment of Prof Frank Frizelle as the incoming chair of PCOR-ANZ. This appointment reinforces the growing strength of trans-Tasman clinical collaboration, and also provides an opportunity to accelerate initiatives that improve health outcomes for New Zealand men.  Frank’s deep expertise in clinical quality improvement will be invaluable as we strengthen our focus on the real-world utilisation of data to reduce treatment variation.”

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The Australia and New Zealand Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry (PCOR-ANZ) is a population-based prostate cancer registry that collects information on the care provided, and outcomes, for men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia and New Zealand. PCOR-ANZ is an initiative funded by Movember in partnership with the Centre for Health Outcome Measures New Zealand (CHOMNZ). Its key aim is to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for men diagnosed with prostate cancer and providing quality of care reports such as this for participating hospitals and clinicians is one way the agency can influence these outcomes.

For further comment or to arrange an interview contact:

Stephen Mark, FRACS | Urologist

M: 0274355547

Urology Associates / Christchurch Hospital | CURT
CHOMNZ | Clinical Lead, NZ Prostate Registry