There aren’t many long-term population-based cohort studies of males with prostate cancer. However, negative effects might persist for a long time after therapy. For a study, researchers sought to evaluate the value of tracking prostate cancer progression 10–15 years after diagnosis using claims data.

The North Carolina–Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP) provided the research population. Prostate cancer was discovered in 1,031 males in PCaP-North Carolina (NC) between 2004 and 2009. From 2008 to 2011, an initial follow-up included a survey and manual medical record abstraction (Follow-up 1). They extended the follow-up by linking it to North Carolina healthcare claims data from 2011 to 2017 and a second, additional 10-year follow-up survey from 2018 to 2020 (Follow-up 2). Data on vital statistics were also used. In conjunction with advice from experienced clinicians, these data sources were used to assess long-term oncological progression.

A total of 652 persons in the 1,031 baselines PCaP-NC were associated with medical claims. The full 72 months of follow-up were covered by insurance for 42% of the males. The additional 10-year follow-up survey was completed by 275 baseline participants. We found a progression event in 259 of 1,031 (25%) males with more than 10 years of follow-up data following diagnosis using all available sources of follow-up data.

It was crucial to comprehend long-term clinical results if one wanted to enhance the quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. However, because each insurer requires a unique agreement for data access, there was a shortage of comprehensive clinical data and gaps in insurance coverage; accessing and using long-term clinical outcomes using claims alone was difficult. However, due to a number of special advantages, including the availability of comprehensive baseline clinical characteristics and treatments, comprehensive manually abstracted clinical data at 5 years of follow-up, vital statistics data, and an additional 10-year follow-up survey, they were able to use claims data to determine long-term progression.