Online Tool Offers Guidance for Men with Non-Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Men diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer now have access to a new tool on the TrueNTH USA website to help them prepare for their first meeting with a cancer physician.

The tool, called Personal Patient Profile-Prostate (P3P), was created by Dana-Farber researchers and is now available to all men with non-metastatic prostate cancer though TrueNTH USA, a program established to improve the quality of life of such patients, their partners, and caregivers. This is the first time the tool has been universally available to patients – regardless of where they receive care – says Donna Berry, PhD, RN, director of the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services at Dana-Farber, who led P3P’s development and testing. A second component of the TrueNTH website, “Symptom Tracker,” helps patients compare their post-treatment symptoms to those of men who have received similar therapies.

The TrueNTH homepage.

“P3P is the first and only freely available internet-based intervention that guides men in making decisions about their treatment by incorporating personal factors into the process,” Berry explains. “It consists of interactive text and video sections that take men through the benefits and risks associated with different treatments so they can make a choice in line with their values.”

Donna Berry, Ann Partridge, prostate cancer, survivorship
(From left) Donna Berry, Bradley McGregor, and Ann Partridge are leading the integration of P3P at Dana-Farber.

Dana-Farber is one of eight institutions nationwide that will integrate P3P into their standard procedures for advising men with prostate cancer. When a patient at any of these institutions logs onto P3P and responds to its prompts, his responses are compiled in a report for his Dana-Farber physician.

“The specialist can see, at a glance, the patient’s personal factors and preferences in advance of the options review visit,” Berry notes. Patients being treated at other institutions can print the report and give it to their physician at their first appointment.

TrueNTH (pronounced “true north”) USA, which is funded by the Movember Foundation, a global charity focused on men’s health, endorsed the inclusion of a web-based version of P3P in 2015. It went live on the TrueNTH USA website this March.

Berry directed the development of the decision-support component of P3P, and Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, director of Dana-Farber’s Adult Survivorship Program, led the development of the future survivorship care component, as well as the overall implementation of TrueNTH at Dana-Farber, the only center in Boston where it is being used in a clinical setting.

Berry and Partridge are working with Bradley McGregor, MD, of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, to integrate the tool into patient care. They hope to expand the TrueNTH website so it will be helpful during the entire course of a patient’s treatment and life as a survivor. “We want to provide support during the whole trajectory of this disease,” Partridge says.

Learn more about how we treat prostate cancer at Dana-Farber.