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Published: 23 February 2024

National Screening Service joins project team for EU-wide initiative on prostate cancer

We’ve joined a project team of Irish and European partners for an EU-wide initiative aiming to reduce the burden of illness and death from prostate cancer in men across the European Union.

PRAISE-U (PRostate cancer Awareness and Initiative for Screening in the European Union) is a three-year project co-funded by the European Union under the EU4Health programme.

In 2022, the European Commission Council Recommendation on strengthening prevention through early detection advised that countries consider a stepwise approach to evaluate how organised prostate cancer screening programmes could be implemented in a way that is feasible and cost-effective.

The goal of PRAISE-U is to work towards better early detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer through carefully designed and risk-based screening programmes.

The project has six workstreams involving a multi-disciplinary group of 25 institutions from 12 EU countries. The group includes leading clinicians, researchers and experts on prostate cancer, and a network of hospitals, medical societies, patient advocates and national authorities. The project will design a customised and patient-tailored early detection process for prostate cancer using a risk-based approach. The entire PRAISE-U team has the responsibility of coordinating actions, building upon efforts to date and contributing new data on prostate cancer screening from pilot sites in Spain, Poland, Lithuania and Ireland.

Ireland’s role, led by Mr David Galvin (Principal Investigator), is to examine the feasibility of population-based screening for prostate cancer in an Irish population using a home-based finger prick blood test. This test can then be analysed for prostate specific antigen (or PSA). The planned study will involve approximately 8,000 men in both urban and rural settings, in both high and low socio-economic groups, and in different populations such as migrants, homeless and marginalised groups. The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of new risk-based approaches.

We’re working with our Irish partners at University College Dublin, Irish Society of Urology, National Cancer Control Programme, Department of Health and Movember UK on the pilot which is expected to begin later in 2024, subject to ethics approval and approval to proceed by the European Consortium Board.