On Saturday, April 8, 2006, forty-one advanced prostate cancer patients and their wives met with six prostate cancer specialists in the Los Angeles Ballroom of the LAX Hilton for a unique program that the PCRI has named a “Town Hall Meeting.” The meeting, which was underwritten by an educational grant from Abbott Laboratories, was developed from a pilot program produced by the PCRI at the 2005 National Conference on Prostate Cancer in Washington D.C. The meeting was structured to allow advanced PC patients an opportunity to discuss the latest advances in treatment with a panel of experts.
“With the advent of PSA testing in the 1980s, the incidence of advanced PC has decreased precipitously,” explains the PCRI’s Program Director, Harry Pinchot, who has organized both Town Hall meetings. “Even so, our ability to prevent or delay advanced PC progression is still limited. However, progress is being made, and the benefits of secondary hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, and biologic, immune, and other novel therapies are being further understood and investigated.
“While treatment options are expanding and new therapies are on the horizon for advanced PC, there remains a large gap between these men, whose need is urgent, and the experts in the field who have extensive first-hand experience and knowledge of the latest advancements. The Town Hall meetings are an attempt to bridge that gap.”
Unique Meeting Format
The Los Angeles Town Hall meeting brought advanced PC patients and their wives into direct contact with urologist Dr. Stanley Brosman (Pacific Urology Institute, Pacific Clinical Research, Santa Monica, CA) and medical oncologists Drs. Mitchell Gross (Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA), Jacek Pinski (USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA), Glenn Tisman (Whittier, CA), and Mark Scholz and Richard Lam (Prostate Oncology Specialists, Marina del Rey, CA).Attendees had submitted questions in advance, and physicians on the panel addressed them one by one, thereby supplying the information that was most urgently needed by the attendees. A case study was also presented that offered numerous opportunities for expanding on this information.
In addition, at the opening continental breakfast, the mid-morning break, and the post-meeting luncheon, there was a great deal of one-on-one interaction between the attendees and members of the panel. Attendees, who came from as far away as the Midwest, the Southeast, and even Brazil, responded to this flow of needed information with uniformly favorable comments.