Media Advisory

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Independent panel to present findings on role of active surveillance in the management of localized prostate cancer


Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States. It is estimated that in 2010, approximately 32,000 American men died of prostate cancer and 218,000 were newly diagnosed with the disease. Most prostate cancers are detected by a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a tumor marker. More than half of cancers detected with PSA screening are localized (confined to the prostate), not aggressive at diagnosis, and unlikely to become life-threatening. However, 90 percent of patients receive immediate treatment for prostate cancer, such as surgery or radiation therapy. In many patients, these treatments have substantial short- and long-term side effects without any clinical benefit.

Tools that could reliably predict which tumors are likely to progress and which are unlikely to cause problems are not yet available. Currently, clinicians rely on two observational strategies as alternatives to immediate treatment of early-stage prostate cancer: watchful waiting and active surveillance. Yet, it is unclear which men will most benefit from each approach and whether observational strategies will yield outcomes similar to immediate treatment when managing low-risk prostate cancer.

To better understand the benefits and risks of active surveillance and other observational management strategies for PSA-screening-detected, low-grade, localized prostate cancer, the National Institutes of Health is convening a State-of-the-Science Conference Dec. 5–7, 2011, to assess the available scientific evidence. An impartial, independent panel will hold a press telebriefing after the conference to discuss their findings and implications for the public. The panel's statement will incorporate their assessment of the available evidence from a systematic literature review, expert presentations, and audience input to inform public and provider decisions regarding active surveillance and other observational management strategies for localized prostate. Additional information about the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference: Role of Active Surveillance in the Management of Men With Localized Prostate Cancer is available at


Members of the State-of-the-Science Panel, to be announced Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.

When and Where

Presentation and discussion of the panel's draft statement:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 at 9 a.m. EST
  • Natcher Conference Center on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland
  • Also available via live webcast:

Press Telebriefing

Presentation and discussion of the panel's draft statement:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST
  • Available via telephone conference call only
  • Pre-registration and additional resources:
  • Dial in info: 1-888-428-7458 (US) | 201-604-5177 (international)

Please call in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start of the telebriefing. Media will be asked for name and outlet. Interested parties who are not affiliated with a media outlet may listen in, but will not be permitted to ask questions during the call.

Conference Information

below and further details are available at

  • Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 - 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 - 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 - 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Live and archived webcast:

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