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Comparison of prostate cancer treatment options and waiting times in the public and private sectors

A 2019/2020 Summer Studentship research project

To identify differences in treatment choices in the private and public sectors and possible inequity, as well as compare waiting times for different treatments in different systems.

Student: Tom Botting
Supervisor: Mr Nicholas Buchan
Sponsor: Canterbury Urology Research Trust


Prostate cancer is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in New Zealand. In recent times there has been significant investment made in New Zealand by Movember into the monitoring of Prostate Cancer outcomes and quality of care. An example of this is the National Prostate Cancer outcomes database. This has given us the opportunity to monitor the care of men with prostate cancer on a national scale. This project is designed to compare the types of treatment offered to men in the private and public sectors and the uptake of each of the management options in each sector. We also plan to analysis the waiting times in each treatment group and compare these across public and private. The project will involve developing an understanding of prostate cancer in general and its treatment pathways, as well as collecting data from multiple sources including the National database and Urology department databases. To develop an understanding of prostate cancer management there will be the opportunity to involve yourself in prostate cancer specific clinics and surgical lists. You will work with the mentor, national database staff and the department audit coordinator during the project. Once the data is collected then analysis will involve preparing a paper suitable for submission for publication.


To compare treatment differences across both sectors and examine treatment delays in public and comparing to private sector waiting times

Student researcher’s component of the study

  • Retrospective analysis via National Prostate Cancer database and/or Urology Department internal database
  • Collation and cleansing of data
  • All prostate cancers registered in 2018 in Canterbury. Likely 400 cases
  • Exclusions: patients older than 75 years (those that wouldn’t not be treated with curative intent), patients leaving the city for treatment, patients on active surveillance at time of biopsy, patients who cross over sectors for treatment
  • Patients classified to risk profiles using D’Amico criteria
  • Comparison of patient choices and treatment waiting times between Public and Private sectors

Student Prerequisites

Medical Student

How to apply