COMPPARE Consortium Spotlight: The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

C. Richard Choo, MDAs we continue to engage partner sites throughout the COMPPARE network, we are pleased to continue our COMPPARE Consortium Spotlight in this newsletter edition, which provides insight into the successes of our partner proton and photon centers across the U.S.

Mayo Clinic Rochester and its four regional sites are participating in COMPPARE, with patients having the option of being treated with proton beam therapy or photon-based radiotherapy, depending upon a patient’s clinical situation and the availability of medical insurance coverage.  Mayo Rochester is also the COMPPARE Participating Institution (outside of UF) that has enrolled the highest number of photon patients thus far, and we are so grateful for their hard work and dedication to the study!

Radiation Oncologist C. Richard Choo, MD (right), COMPPARE’s Principal Investigator at Mayo, believes the importance of the study lies in the fact that it can allow the detection of meaningful differences between these therapies.

According to Dr. Choo, the main challenge to study participation is finding the right way to encourage a patient to join. “Participating in a research study is often anxiety-provoking to patients, who are already dealing with the stress associated with the diagnosis of prostate cancer and radiotherapy,” said Dr. Choo. “Due to their unfamiliarity with the nature of the study, taking the time to explain it and assure them that the radiotherapy they are about to receive remains the same, regardless of their participation, is quite important for patient accrual.”

“A research study coordinator as well as an attending physician have played an important role in this regard,” he continued.

At Mayo Clinic, a study coordinator screens all new patients for their potential eligibility for COMPPARE, and notifies an attending physician of patient eligibility. In addition, the progress of the study is discussed and updated in a monthly meeting of the genitourinary tumor group. While less than 2% of eligible participants are minority patients, Mayo encourages all those who are eligible to participate regardless of the race, and spends extra time and effort to recruit minority patients.

“Patients are informed that COMPPARE is an important study examining whether proton beam therapy provides any therapeutic benefit in comparison to photon-based radiotherapy,” he explains. “We also point out that regardless of their willingness to participate in the study, patients will receive the best medical care available. Patients are also told that their participation will contribute to the advancement of medicine and will help other patients and future generations.”

For more information about the radiation oncology department at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, visit the Mayo Clinic Radiation Oncology web pages.

Our next Consortium Spotlight will feature another active COMPPARE partner. We are grateful to Dr. Choo and his team for their input and dedicated participation in COMPPARE, and we appreciate all partner sites working so diligently to improve prostate cancer outcomes for men.