Recent Media Coverage
June 24, 2018
Wall Street Journal
Is Robotic Prostate Surgery Better Than Traditional Surgery?
While some doctors say robotic prostate surgery leads to less blood loss and faster recoveries, other doctors say traditional open surgery remains the gold standard. The Wall Street Journal asked two experts to debate the topic. Dr. Ashutosh Tewari argued in favor of robotic surgery, and Dr. William Catalona presented his case in favor of traditional open radical prostatectomy.
Dr. Catalona wrote, "For men choosing prostate surgery, a key decision is whether it should be performed with robotic assistance or by the traditional open method. Largely because of aggressive marketing, most prostatectomies are performed robotically. But it isn't the best choice. There is no quality evidence that robotic procedures deliver better outcomes than open ones. Simply put, robotic prostatectomy advocates rely on studies with poor methodologies."
March 6, 2018
Major Trial: No Mortality Benefit With 'One-Off' PSA Test
Medscape's coverage of the CAP Trial (see pages 1-2 of the Spring 2018 Quest) included extensive
comments from Dr. Catalona. The largest-ever prostate cancer screening trial, in which asymptomatic men received a "one-off" blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), has found no mortality benefit after 10 years. Dr. Catalona, an outspoken supporter of PSA screening, opined that the study design of CAP is unrealistic.
The Chicago Area's Top Doctors
Dr. Catalona was named as one of Chicago's top doctors in the urology specialty. Only 10 urologists received the recognition.
September 26, 2017
Australian Financial Review
When to take a prostate cancer test? Test inventor William Catalona can tell you
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Dr. Catalona explained his views on PSA testing and active surveillance. Dr. Catalona has "no doubt" about PSA"s importance as a screening tool for prostate cancer. Dr. Catalona said, "A man should be tested in his 40s and early 50s. At this age, his PSA should be less than 1. If it's higher, then that is [the] most powerful predictor of the probability of him developing metastatic or lethal prostate cancer later in life. If it's higher than 1 he should have more intensive screening going forward."
The Screening Debate - Affirmative: Cuts Cancer Mortality Negative: There's No Hard Proof
The debate on screening continues. Of the USPSTF's 2012 recommendation against routine PSA screening, Dr. Catalona said, "We're now seeing many more men come in with advanced, incurable disease - we're undoing the good that was done over the past 25 years." Dr. Catalona believes healthy men should have a baseline PSA blood test for risk stratification.
April 14, 2017
Friday Feedback: Do Docs Know Best for PSA Screening?
USPSTF recommends individualized prostate cancer screening for men ages 55 to 69
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released an updated recommendation supporting individualized decision-making for PSA-based prostate cancer screening among men ages 55 to 69. MedPage Today spoke with leading experts in the field, many of whom see the USPSTF update as a tool to help them deliver better care to patients. "The new recommendation will now compel PCPs to at least discuss PSA screening with their patients," Dr. Catalona said.
April 11, 2017
National Public Radio, Morning Edition
Federal Task Force Softens Opposition to Routine Prostate Cancer Screening
In proposed revised guidelines, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says men ages 55 to 69 should decide individually with their doctors whether and when to undergo PSA testing. "PSA screening saves lives. I view it as a victory for PSA screening for prostate cancer," Dr. Catalona said.
January 13, 2017
PSA Nadir May Guide High-Risk Prostate Care
A study found that men whose lowest PSA score after radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer was greater than 0.5 ng/mL had an increased risk of dying before treatment failure. "There is a genuine need for surrogate endpoints for all-cause mortality in men with localized, unfavorable-risk prostate cancer, because it often takes 10 to 20 years for men to die after unsuccessful treatment for clinically localized disease," Dr. Catalona told MedPage Today. He congratulated the authors for a good study involving an unmet need in prostate cancer.
July 7, 2016
'I was scared. But by the same token, I was blessed.'
The News Tribune featured Jerry Duttlinger, one of Dr. Catalona's patients, in a series celebrating longtime cancer survivors in the Illinois Valley. Duttlinger's experience "underscored another point he tries to impress upon people: Find a doctor and medical team you trust. To survive means to stay positive and for that you either must have complete faith in your providers or keep looking," wrote the News Tribune. Also, Duttlinger offers one firm piece of advice: "If you're 40 or over, get the PSA test every year. Period."
You can view a video of Duttlinger talking about his experience with prostate cancer on the News Tribune website: www.newstrib.com.
May 24, 2016
New York Times
More Men With Early Prostate Cancer Are Choosing to Avoid Treatment
In recent years, major research organizations have begun to recommend active surveillance. Data shows that 40-50% of patients diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer are choosing active surveillance, up from 10- 15% several years ago. However, it is not clear that everyone with a cancer scored as Gleason 6 or lower is a candidate for active surveillance. Dr. Catalona told the New York Times that he worried some younger men may find out too late that their cancer was worse than shown on the biopsy and has become incurable by the time they receive definitive treatment. Active surveillance, he warned, "is a tragic mistake for some."
April 20, 2016
Searching for reasons African- American men face increased risk of prostate cancer
African-American men are approximately 70% more likely than Caucasians to develop prostate cancer. They are also 137% more likely to die because of a more aggressive form of the malignancy. Dr. Catalona told the Telegram that early detection holds the most promise to save the lives of African- American men and men of African descent. In 2012, the US Preventive Services Task Force advised against PSA screening. "It (the task force) recommended against all prostate cancer screening until you have symptoms," said Dr. Catalona. "By the time you have symptoms from prostate cancer, it's usually too far along to cure."
December 23, 2015
2015 Recap: PSA Errors in SEER Database Less Ominous
According to preliminary data, fewer errors in PSA values than initially feared have turned up in a study of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registrations. "From what I can discern from the analysis of the SEER data errors, the percentage of erroneous entries is relatively modest, and the possible effects on the results of some studies would seem to be small," Dr. Catalona told MedPage Today.
November 30, 2015
Editorial: Bad prostate cancer advice
Many urologists warned that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's 2012 recommendation against widespread screening for prostate cancer would likely result in unnecessary deaths. Recent studies confirm that the testing and diagnosis of prostate cancer have dropped dramatically - likely the result of the task force's flawed recommendation.
Dr. Catalona predicted when the task force made its recommendation it could cause the prostate death rate to double by 2025. New research numbers suggest that more people, including those with aggressive forms of cancer, are forgoing screening and losing the opportunity for care.
Northwestern Medicine Magazine
Accelerating Prostate Cancer Research: Lurie Cancer Center Receives $11 Million National Cancer Institute Grant
Northwestern Medicine scientists have received a five-year, $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in prostate cancer.
The SPORE comes with demanding requirements, notably completing four studies that span the full translational research spectrum during the funding period.
"The whole philosophy of a SPORE grant is that you have to take basic science from the research bench and move it to the patient's bedside in five years," said Dr. Catalona, principal investigator of the program. "Many projects could never qualify because you won't see results in such an accelerated timeline. We're driven to apply this research to help patients as soon as we can."
October 19, 2015
Medscape Medical News
PSA Screening Should Be an Opt-In Test, Not Opt-Out
In 1991, Dr. Catalona and colleagues published a report in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the use of PSA as a screening test for prostate cancer. “I think it’s easy to say that healthcare in men has not been the same since,” wrote David Graham, MD, author of the article.
September 25, 2015
Active surveillance redefines paradigm for prostate cancer management
Active surveillance - in which prostate cancer is regularly monitored for signs of progression - spares men whose tumors may never progress from potential treatment-associated adverse effects, such as sexual dysfunction or incontinence.
Still, some clinicians remain skeptical about this approach. Dr. Catalona told HemOnc Today that the biggest problem with active surveillance is the frequency with which patients need to undergo biopsies to monitor their disease. The procedures can be painful and expensive, and some lead to sepsis or other adverse effects. "After biopsies, patients can get scarring around their prostate, and if they are found to need a nerve-sparing prostatectomy, it can be a lot more difficult because they had several biopsies," Dr. Catalona said. "The other major problem is, 40% of men who fulfill the criteria for active surveillance and undergo radical prostatectomy have higher Gleason-grade cancer in their prostate or have cancer that has spread to the margins of the prostate or beyond," Catalona said. "These patients who seem to be good candidates for active surveillance really are not. In studies that have good long-term follow-up, only about half of patients who enrolled in active surveillance but later had to undergo radiation or surgery had curable disease."
Newsweek Health: Top Cancer Doctors 2015
Dr. Catalona was selected to be part of the Newsweek "Top Cancer Doctors 2015" list. The list was compiled through peer nominations and extensive research by Castle Connolly Medical LTD.
Scientific American Prostate Disorders Bulletin
The Prostate Health Index
Since a (PSA) test isn't enough on its own to differentiate prostate cancer from a prostate infection or benign enlargement of the prostate, doctors will typically advise men with PSA levels in the 4 ng/mL to 10 ng/mL range to undergo biopsy. This often results in a biopsy that is negative for prostate cancer. "In the past two years, this 'one-size-fits-all' approach to screening for prostate cancer has been modified thanks to the introduction of a more personalized, noninvasive risk assessment tool called the prostate health index, or phi," Dr. Catalona wrote.
February 9, 2015
Men with prostate trouble should avoid some cold medications
With cold and flu season in full swing, experts are warning men who have an enlarged prostate to avoid medicines containing antihistamines and decongestants. Nearly 80% of men age 50 and older will be diagnosed with some degree of the disease, said Dr. Catalona. "We don't know what causes benign prostatic enlargement, it's one of the great mysteries, and we really wish we did because it's such a prevalent condition," Dr. Catalona told Reuters Health.
November 28, 2014
NYT PSA Critic Is Wrong to Say Drugs Hasten Prostate Cancer Death
Forbes contributor Benjamin Davis responded to a New York Times op-ed by Dr. Ablin entitled "The Problem With Prostate Screening." Davis' commentary linked to Dr. Catalona's commentary "The 'True' History of the Discovery of Prostate-specific Antigen," which was published in the ASCO Post.
November 14, 2014
Jack McCallum Blog
Behind the Interviews: Prostate Cancer is a Shared Memory
Bleeding Orange is Jim Boeheim's autobiography with Jack McCallum. Both the book and Jack McCallum's online series about writing the book mention Dr. Catalona as Boeheim's doctor. "We are both advocates for being PSA-tested, and we do what we can to talk about prostate cancer when asked about it," McCallum wrote on his blog.
The Time Has Come to Revise the 2013 AUA Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
Dr. Catalona's presentation at the 2014 AUA meeting in Orlando, Florida, was published in the AUA News as a "Crossfire Debate" with Dr. H. Ballentine Carter. Dr. Catalona wrote, "It has now been 1 year since the AUA membership was first stunned by the 2013 AUA guidelines, which are based on incomplete and flaws data, and inaccurate estimates of the benefits and harms of PSA screening." See page 6 of the Winter 2014 QUEST for an adaptation of the presentation.
April 28, 2014
Blood test for prostate cancer detection now available
The Prostate Health Index (PHI) test is now available nationwide. Dr. Catalona said, "The problem is that higher levels of PSA can also be caused by benign enlargement or inflammation of the prostate, leading to many false- positives for cancer and ultimately unnecessarily invasive biopsies and an increased potential for patient harm." The increase in accuracy of the PHI test addresses this concern.
April 15, 2014
PSA Level at Age 60 Can Aid in Prostate Cancer Screening Decisions
According to a population-based study of Swedish men, blood PSA level at age 60 can differentiate men who benefit from prostate cancer screening and those who don't. Dr. Catalona said, "In my opinion, it is a large leap of faith to recommend stopping PSA testing at age 60 based on the meager available data, especially since prostate cancer is a major cause of suffering and death, disproportionately higher in older men, and a PSA blood test is such a simple thing to do."
March 22, 2014
WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9
WBBM Newsradio highlighted the Winter 2014 issue of QUEST. Dr. Barry Kaufman said, "The Urological Research Foundation's newsletter QUEST reports on recommendations from international groups, which it hopes will encourage men and their doctors to decide together what's best for each patient."
March 17, 2014
International HIFU Blog
Changing Dynamics of the Cancer Landscape, Part 4 - Economics, Government Intervention and Prostate Cancer
The clinical community is not fully on board with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines. Experts such as Dr. Patrick Walsh and Dr. William Catalona have taken issue with the panel's decision regarding the PSA test.
March 8, 2014
Help or Harm: the furious debate over screening for prostate cancer
The Economist cited Dr. Catalona as an advocate of the PSA test in its review of The Great Prostate Hoax by Richard Ablin and Ronald Piana. The review mentioned the studies that helped convince an American government panel to recommend that no man be screened for his PSA levels. "Critics such as Dr. Catalona said the trials were flawed," said the article.
The Urology Flow
Northwestern First to Offer Prostate Cancer Test
Northwestern Medicine, under the direction of Dr. William Catalona, was one of two health care providers to offer a new non-invasive blood test for prostate cancer. This new test, known as the Prostate Health Index (PHI), is three times as accurate as the standard PSA test.
February 26, 2014
New Test Means New Way to Fight Prostate Cancer
WGN highlighted the PHI test as a new option for prostate cancer detection. “We looked at how many men would need to have biopsies if we just used the PSA test or if we used the PHI test. It turns out it saves about 30% of the unnecessary biopsies,” said Dr. Catalona.
February 4, 2014
Webinar Details Advances in Prostate Cancer Detection: What's Next for Clinical Labs?
Researchers are exploring whether multianalyte panels may be useful in detecting prostate cancer. In a webinar offered by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), Dr. Catalona will describe results from the latest and most pertinent studies related to improving the process of prostate cancer detection.
October 15, 2013
PSA Screening: Why Are We Screening at 75?
MedPage Today asked a number of PCPs and oncologists if ordering a PSA test for men over 75 was clinically justified. “The truth is that the methodology used by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other organizations for assessing the benefits and harms of PSA testing are biased in that they are bound to underestimate the benefits and overestimate the harms,” Dr. Catalona said.
July 25, 2013
Where the New AUA Guidelines Went Wrong
“The AUA guidelines are a step in the wrong direction for patient-centered care and may deprive many men of the opportunity to pursue shared decision making about possibly life-saving prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing,” wrote Dr. Catalona in his commentary.
Cancer’s Big Questions
Dr. Catalona and his colleagues at Northwestern University completed a study on a new screening test for prostate cancer called the prostate health index, which is based on a new form of PSA called the pro-PSA. “It’s significantly more accurate than the PSA test and has a tendency to identify the more life-threatening prostate cancer,” Dr. Catalona said.
May 24, 2013
The Oncology Report
Novel biomarker may measure prostate cancer aggressiveness
A pilot study showed that prostate-specific antigen peptidase activity is higher in patients with less-aggressive prostate cancer than in patients with advanced disease. At the annual AUA meeting, Dr. Catalona said this marker “may improve identification of men who may be better candidates for active surveillance” if confirmed by a larger study.
May 4, 2013
Dr. Catalona received the Society for Basic Urologic Research 2013 Distinguished Service Award for dedication and contributions to the field of basic urologic research
April 18, 2013
Medscape Medical News
Three PSA Tests Over Lifetime Sufficient for Many Men
A team led by Andrew Vickers, PhD, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City proposes that just 3 PSA tests over the course of a lifetime is sufficient for many men. Experts say the study is not yet ready for clinical use. “It would be unwise to base any recommendation on such a small, single, unvalidated study, in my opinion,” Dr. Catalona commented.
March 26, 2013
The New York Times
New Prostate Cancer Tests Could Reduce False Alarms
New prostate cancer tests are coming to the market. “This field is moving kind of like cellphones,” Dr. Catalona said.
March 26, 2013
Feinberg News Center
Genome Collaboration Leads to Prostate Cancer Finding
A collaborative research effort published in Nature Genetics verifies the benefits of whole genome sequencing in identifying genes associated with susceptibility to prostate cancer. Dr. Catalona said, “The hope is that this research could provide potential new targets for pharmaceutical manipulation in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer in general.”
February 7, 2013
Medill Reports – Chicago
Deep-fried foods may increase risk of prostate cancer, researchers say
A new study examined the link between fried food and prostate cancer. Dr. Catalona said, “You can’t do much about the genetics you inherit from your parents, but it’s widely acknowledged that your risk for cancer is a mixture of your genetics and your environment and how they interact with each other.”