27 February 2024

Current European programmes are opportunistic and run risk of overdiagnosis

A new review of prostate cancer screening policies and guidelines currently in place across Europe concludes that they are currently not fit for purpose, with opportunistic (as opposed to organised) screening prevalent across all nine countries examined.

The systematic review of literature, published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, was conducted as part of the European Commission’s PRAISE-U project, which aims to evaluate current early detection programmes for prostate cancer across Europe, with a view to aligning protocols across member states.

The review, conducted by members of the PRAISE-U consortium including Europa Uomo, the European Association of Urology and Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, found significant variations in PSA-based early detection policies across Europe. “High levels of opportunistic screening and overdiagnosis persist,” it says, “prompting policy recommendations for standardised guidelines, informed decision making, and increased awareness to improve efficiency and effectiveness in early detection.”

Meanwhile, the PRAISE-U consortium’s latest meeting has been held at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France (pictured).  The PRAISE-U project involves pilot studies of organised prostate cancer screening programmes in different countries, and representatives from Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Spain presented their pilot study protocols at the meeting.