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The European Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) Educational Programme

The programme will be presented at the Patient Information Prostate Cancer Session, Friday 9 July, 11:30 – 12:30, Virtual Room 10.

About the Programme

The ADT Educational Programme helps prostate cancer patients manage the side effects of ADT through an interactive programme built around the book Androgen Deprivation Therapy: An essential guide for men with prostate cancer and their loved ones. The goal is to help prostate cancer patients improve their quality of life as well as maintain strong intimate relationships while on ADT. It is designed to help prostate cancer patients to take appropriate actions to reduce, or avoid, the negative impact of ADT.

Participation in the programme begins with a 1.5-hour group educational session, which introduces patients and their loved ones to ADT, the side effects of ADT, and management strategies for these side effects. Participants are introduced to the ADT Book and how to use goal-setting exercises to manage ADT side effects. Both patients and partners receive a copy of the ADT Book, which they can then read at their own pace.

The ADT Educational Programme team is the recipient of the 2019 Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) Innovation Award, conferred for “the development of quality improvement and innovative clinical, educational, or organisational initiatives aimed at enhancing the performance of psychosocial cancer care or cancer prevention”.

About the book

Androgen Deprivation Therapy: An essential guide for men with prostate cancer and their loved ones is a book for both prostate cancer patients starting on ADT and their loved ones. The current 2018 edition of the book was produced for North America and is currently being adapted for the European market. It presents all of the known side effects of ADT, as well as the established evidence-based management strategies for dealing with those side effects.

The book addresses adverse physiological effects, such as weight gain, muscle loss, bone mineral density, and risk for diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Also, ADT can impact patients’ mood, energy level, erectile function, and libido. Men may also lose body hair (on arms, legs and torso) and experience genital (penis and testicular) shrinkage. All of these side effects are discussed in this volume.

The book is genuinely a workbook for both patients and partners; it is not just a text outlining side effect management strategies. Thus, all of the major chapters have specific exercises to help patients implement management strategies and make specific lifestyle changes. Exercises are also included to help patients and partners to stay close, both emotionally and physically, even when ADT suppresses the patients’ sexual interest and function. There are suggestions for how to remain sexually active despite changes in sexual function and reduced interest in sex. At the same time we recognise that not all men on ADT are in a relationship and the book addresses their needs as well.

The ADT Educational Programme Europe is a collaboration with the authors of the ADT book and founders of the Educational Programme Canada, Dr. Richard Wassersug, Honorary Professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Lauren Walker, a clinical psychologist and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary, and Dr. John Robinson, a clinical psychologist and a member of the Genital Urinary Program at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta.

We thank Astellas Pharma Europe and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. for an unrestricted educational grant to initiate the online ADT Educational Programme in Europe.