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TRANSFORM trial to evaluate screening methods in prostate cancer

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Article

Investigators will begin setting up the TRANSFORM trial in spring 2024, with study recruitment set to begin later in the year

Prostate Cancer UK has announced additional details for the TRANSFORM trial, a £42 million research program designed to compare different screening approaches in prostate cancer with the hope of improving early detection and treatment pathways.1

Patients included in the study will be followed for at least a decade.

Patients included in the study will be followed for at least a decade.

According to Prostate Cancer UK, the TRANSFORM trial will be the largest prostate cancer screening trial in 2 decades. The trial is supported by the National Health Service (NHS), the National Institute for Health and Care Research, and the United Kingdom government, which has committed to contributing £16 million.The study is also backed by numerous philanthropic organizations.

The study was first announced in November 2023.2 Additional details recently provided by Prostate Cancer UK confirm that investigators will begin setting up the study in spring 2024, with trial recruitment set to begin later in the year.

“The UK has led the way in developing cancer screening programs through rigorous, robust research. However, despite it being the second most common cause of cancer death in UK men, there still isn’t a screening program for prostate cancer. TRANSFORM is an exciting opportunity to evaluate promising and innovative screening strategies for the early detection of prostate cancer on a national scale, with the ultimate aim of preventing deaths from prostate cancer. I’m so pleased to be working with Prostate Cancer UK and a brilliant team of fellow researchers to deliver it,” said co-lead investigator of the TRANSFORM trial, Rhian Gabe, PhD, in a separate news release from Queen Mary University of London.3 Gabe is a professor of biostatistics and clinical trials at Queen Mary University of London.

Stage 1 of the TRANSFORM trial will include approximately 12,500 men over 3 years to evaluate 4 potential screening options: fast MRI scans (a 12-minute version of the full scan), genetic testing, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing in comparison with a control group. Patients in the control group will follow the current NHS screening process, in which men are not routinely offered a PSA test but may request one.

Stage 2 of the TRANSFORM study will include up to 300,000 men in whom the investigators will further evaluate the most promising screening option, or options, to determine the effectiveness of the method(s) in detecting prostate cancer, as well as any potential harms.

Patients included in the study will be followed for at least a decade.

Men are eligible for the trial if they are between the ages of 50 to 75, or between the ages of 45 to 75 for Black men. Prostate Cancer UK has noted that they plan to ensure that at least 1 in 10 patients invited to participate in the trial are Black men.

Prostate Cancer UK also reported in their update that they plan to release data from the study at numerous time points during the trial, with the first being at around 3 years from study launch.

In addition to Rhian Gabe, the other lead investigators for the trial are Hashim U. Ahmed, BM BCh, at Imperial College London; Rakesh Heer, BMedSci, MRCS, PhD, FRCS, at Imperial College London; Rosalind Eeles, PhD, FRCP, at The Institute of Cancer Research, London; Mark Emberton, MD, FRCS, at University College London; and Caroline M. Moore, MD, FRCS, at University College London.

References

1. TRANSFORM trial. Prostate Cancer UK. https://prostatecanceruk.org/research/transform-trial

2. Introducing TRANSFORM, our £42 million trial to find a screening programme for prostate cancer. News release. Prostate Cancer UK. November 19, 2023. Accessed May 2, 2024. https://prostatecanceruk.org/about-us/news-and-views/2023/11/introducing-transform

3. New £42 million screening trial to improve efficacy of prostate cancer screening. News release. Queen Mary University of London. May 1, 2024. Accessed May 2, 2024. https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2024/fmd/new-42-million-screening-trial-to-improve-efficacy-of-prostate-cancer-screening.html

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