Skip to main content

Project #28:
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer and COVID-19

  • Type: Service evaluation
  • Topic areas: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer is used to shrink the cancer before or after the surgery or radiotherapy. ADT is also used to manage advanced cancers that cannot be cured with surgery and radiotherapy. Patients receive injections monthly or every three months long-term. In this research we are seeking to investigate if and how this was affected during the pandemic. There is evidence that the pandemic affected access to healthcare, especially when face-to-face appointments were required for the provision of services. We will access primary care and hospital (SUS) data to assess the impact on ADT delivery.

In this study we will extract and analyse data on the prescribing of injectable forms of ADT for prostate cancer between pre-pandemic (2015-2019) and pandemic years (2020-2021) to investigate any potential effect of the COVID-19 on the delivery of ADT for prostate cancer. This information may help to identify where services require more support as well as assist government and policymakers plan for future lockdowns and pandemics.

We will also analyse by age, ethnicity, deprivation, region of the country and care-home residency to identify possible patient groups with difficulties in accessing medication. Prostate cancer, comparatively, is one of the cancers more strongly affected by demographic, socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities.