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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Quality indicators of clinical cancer care for prostate cancer: a population-based study in southern Switzerland

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Laura Ortelli, Alessandra Spitale, Luca Mazzucchelli, Andrea Bordoni
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-018-4604-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Quality of cancer care (QoCC) has become an important item for providers, regulators and purchasers of care worldwide. Aim of this study is to present the results of some evidence-based quality indicators (QI) for prostate cancer (PC) at the population-based level and to compare the outcomes with data available in the literature.


The study included all PC diagnosed on a three years period analysis (01.01.2011–31.12.2013) in the population of Canton Ticino (Southern Switzerland) extracted from the Ticino Cancer Registry database. 13 QI, approved through the validated Delphi methodology, were calculated using the “available case” approach: 2 for diagnosis, 4 for pathology, 6 for treatment and 1 for outcome. The selection of the computed QI was based on the availability of medical documentation. QI are presented as proportion (%) with the corresponding 95% confidence interval.


700 PC were detected during the three-year period 2011–2013: 78.3% of them were diagnosed through a prostatic biopsy and for 72.5% 8 or more biopsy cores were taken. 46.5% of the low risk PC patients underwent active surveillance, while 69.2% of high risk PC underwent a radical treatment (radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy or brachytherapy) and 73.5% of patients with metastatic PC were treated with hormonal therapy. The overall 30-day postoperative mortality was 0.5%.


Results emerging from this study on the QoCC for PC in Canton Ticino are encouraging: the choice of treatment modalities seems to respect the international guidelines and our results are comparable to the scarce number of available international studies. Additional national and international standardisation of the QI and further QI population-based studies are needed in order to get a real picture of the PC diagnostic-therapeutic process progress through the definition of thresholds of minimal standard of care.
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