Rune Kvåle, MD, defended his thesis on Friday October 15th 2010; the first based on data from The Norwegian Prostate Cancer Registry.
Rune Kvåle is a medical doctor at the Institute of clinical medicine and advisor in the medical group at the Cancer Registry of Norway. His thesis is “Changing Epidemiological Patterns of Prostate Cancer: A Nordic Perspective. Incidence, Mortality, Diagnostic Procedures and Treatment.”
Rune Kvåle’s thesis is the first that is based on data from The Norwegian Prostate Cancer Registry. During the last 20 years prostate cancer incidence and the number receiving curative treatment as a goal has risen greatly. Nevertheless, according to calculations from researchers, mortality has been reduced by over two per cent since the middle of the 1990s. These are some of the results that doctor and researcher Rune Kvåle and his colleagues demonstrate in the thesis” Changing Epidemiological Patterns of Prostate Cancer: A Nordic Perspective.”
The thesis is based on data from the Nordic cancer- and mortality registries in addition to data from The Norwegian Prostate Cancer Registry. Increased use of treatment such as surgery and radiation therapy is under discussion as a possible cause of reduced mortality, as seen in the later years. From the first part of the 1990s there were few men with early prostate cancer who were given this type of surgery and radiation therapy in Norway. Towards the end of the 1990s there were great regional variations in the use of treatment having curative intentions. However, from around the year 2000 differences in the use of surgery and radiation between the health regions were evened out.
Too much and too little treatment
The results of the thesis also suggest that some of the patients with low risk cancer have been given too much treatment in Norway. That is, they have been given a treatment they perhaps would not have had any benefits from during their lifetime. At the same time, too few patients with moderate to high risk of cancer have been treated with surgery or radiation therapy.
In the last article of the thesis, the pathologist’s examination of tissue from the prostate gland before surgery (which can to a great extent be decisive for the choice of treatment) is compared to prostate tissue after the gland was removed. Researchers show that the agreement between the classification of tissue samples and surgical specimens seems to be better at hospitals that examine many surgical specimens per year compared to hospitals that examine few.