A study to find out what men think is important when making decisions about treatment for prostate cancer (COMPARe study)

Cancer type:

Prostate cancer





This was a study to learn more about how men made decisions about prostate cancer treatment.

More about this trial

Localised prostate cancer is when the cancer has not grown outside the prostate gland. There are different treatment options for localised prostate cancer. This includes: 

Another option is to not start treatment but be closely monitored instead. This is active surveillance.

This is only suitable for men with a low or intermediate risk of their cancer growing.

All the treatments are different. So are the side effects, and how long these are likely to last. Deciding which treatment to have can be difficult. Researchers wanted to learn more about how men with prostate cancer made choices between the treatment options.

In this study, they asked men what was most important to them when deciding between one treatment and another. 

Summary of results

Everyone favoured quality of life Open a glossary item over any increase of survival from treatment. The also found a difference in the choices of treatment between men with low or intermediate risk and high risk cancer.  

Study design
The study team surveyed 650 men with localised prostate cancer. This was within 1 week of their diagnosis and before they chose their treatment. 

In the survey they chose their preferred treatment based on 6 features:

  • the type of treatment for localised prostate cancer
  • how long it took to return to normal activities after treatment
  • the amount of men able to maintain an erection a year after treatment
  • the amount of men who had no problems controlling passing urine a year after treatment
  • the amount of men not needing any more treatment 10 to 15 years after initial treatment
  • the amount of men who survive 10 to 15 years after treatment

The team concluded that all men chose quality of life over increasing their chance of surviving. 

They also looked at the men with low risk or intermediate risk prostate cancer. These men also had the option of active surveillance. They concluded that they chose active surveillance rather than treatment. 

More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below. 

Please note, the summary of this article may not be in plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.

Journal articles
Evaluating the Trade-Offs Men with Localized Prostate Cancer Make between the Risks and Benefits of Treatments: The COMPARE Study

Verity Watson, Neil McCartan, Nicolas Krucien, Victor Abu, Divine Ikenwilo, Mark Emberton and Hashim U. Ahmedk

Journal of Urology, Vol. 204, 273-280, August 2020

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link we list above is active and the summary of the article is free and available to view.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Verity Watson
Professor Mark Emberton
Hashim Ahmed

Supported by

Medical Research Council (MRC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University College London (UCL)

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 7840

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Keith took part in a trial looking into hormone therapy

A picture of Keith

"Health wise I am feeling great. I am a big supporter of trials - it allows new treatments and drugs to be brought in.”

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