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Volume 11, Pages 147-160
Review Article

Using Large Institutional or National Databases to Evaluate Prostate Cancer Outcomes and Patterns of Care: Possibilities and Limitations

Division of Urology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, USA

Received 8 August 2010; Revised 27 November 2010; Accepted 16 December 2010

Academic Editor: Scott Eggener

Copyright © 2011 Daniel Su and Thomas L. Jang.


Prostate cancer is the most common non–skin-related cancer in men. With advances in technology, the care and treatment for men with this disease continues to become more complex. Large databases offer researchers a unique opportunity to conduct prostate cancer research in various areas, and provide important information that helps patients and providers determine prognosis after treatment. Furthermore, the studies using these databases may provide information on how side effects from various treatments can affect one's quality of life. Finally, information from these datasets can help to identify factors that determine why patients receive the treatments they do. Despite this, these databases are not without limitations. In this review, we discuss various available, national, multicenter, and institutional databases in the context of prostate cancer research, citing numerous important studies that have impacted on our understanding of prostate cancer outcomes.