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Data analytics & research teams

Data analytics - thousands of data sets must be precisely analysed

The PIONEER platform is now operational and will be used by PIONEER researchers to address the most important prostate cancer research questions identified in a survey among key opinion leaders in the field of prostate cancer.

Data analytics in PIONEER aims to fulfil the following objectives:

  1. Develop a data analysis plan and standard operating procedure for each major research objective to ensure transparency and effective communication for all stakeholders.
  2. Carry out data exploration, visualisation and basic statistics in a way that uncovers new insights into the research questions being asked.
  3. Implement data quality control measures to ensure data errors and outliners are identified and controlled for ensuring the most reliable data possible.
  4. Develop predictive models of patient outcomes, disease progression and therapy selection based on advanced analytics. This will include investigating the added value of clinical and biological biomarkers in improving predictions throughout the care pathway of prostate cancer.
  5. Assess the performance of new predictive models over existing methods and develop a clinician/patient scoring and evaluation process.
  6. Pilot patient evaluation and treatment strategies based on these new predictive analytical tools and models, as it is vitally important to measure the acceptance and adherence of both patients and clinicians.
  7. Utilise the PIONEER database to estimate the economic burden of prostate cancer depending on the disease stage and geographic region in which the patient lives. The outputs will be useful to inform policy issues, and provide useful inputs to WP6.

Ultimately, this will pave the way to individualised, evidence-based medicine, improved decision-making and optimised care for prostate cancer patients.

We are currently developing more explanatory information – stay tuned!

PIONEER research question teams

At the start of PIONEER, the EAU Prostate Cancer Guideline panel and other Key Opinion Leaders were contacted to identify the most important knowledge gaps. Afterwards, the PIONEER consortium performed a prioritisation survey among two stakeholder groups: healthcare professionals including pharmaceutical companies and prostate cancer patients to identify and prioritise a list of the top five research questions in prostate cancer.

For each prioritised research question PIONEER has established a multi-disciplinary research team with both clinical and data leads. Currently there are two active research teams in PIONEER with a further two teams in development.

Team A are investigating the relevant tumour-specific and patient-specific variables that affect prognosis of prostate cancer patients suitable for active surveillance. The research team will tackle this by applying a four phase study plan:

  1. A review of all published studies on active surveillance, reporting on the parameters for inclusion criteria, reclassification and outcomes reported.
  2. Descriptions of available datasets focusing on patient characteristics, initial treatment, length of follow-up, level of follow-up, potential outcome measures (data granularity), qualitative data.
  3. Initiation of exploratory analyses on time to event (defined in phase 1), tumour and personal characteristics (depending on availability).​
  4. Modelling to address the research question in detail: using patient and tumour characteristics over time to predict the risk of disease progression while being managed with active surveillance.​

Team B are investigating what is the clinical benefit of determining patients’ genetic risk profile regarding PCa management, especially in the screening setting. To tackle this question the research team have broken the question down into three distinct component questions:

  1. What outcomes will be used for “prostate cancer progression”?
  2. What genes are associated with prostate cancer?
  3. What is the proposition for using risk scores?

Stay tuned for the latest updates to these prioritised research questions.