Presentation Authors: Joseph M Caputo*, New York, NY, Henry J Lee, Bronxville, NY, Bennett Chiles, Elias Hyams, New York, NY
Introduction: There has been increased direct-to-consumer advertising for Cyberknife (CK), a brand of stereotactic radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Evidence comparing CK with other prostate cancer therapies is limited. We hypothesized that those viewing CK advertisements would have inaccurate impressions regarding its effectiveness and safety. In this study, we evaluated impressions of CK among laypersons exposed to actual advertisements versus factual information/controls.
Methods: Through Qualtrics Panel, a survey management organization, 400 men aged 40-80 were randomly assigned to one of four arms, including a de-identified CK advertisement (ad), the same advertisement with disclaimers (ad+d), scientific information obtained from a review of contemporary peer-reviewed literature, and a control. Subjects responded to questions on risks and benefits of CK and their likelihood of pursuing CK versus other treatments. T-tests were utilized to evaluate differences in outcomes for each intervention vs. the control group.
Results: 400 men with largely matched characteristics (Table 1) were included. Compared to controls, those who viewed any of the three interventions were more likely to pursue CK over other treatments (p < 0.01), with a greater increase in the ad and ad+d groups (Table 2). Respondents who viewed scientific information were less likely to agree that CK is superior to alternatives regarding side effects of erectile dysfunction and urinary problems. The addition of disclaimers decreased positive impressions of CK regarding side effects, but did not affect impressions of effectiveness (Table 2). Both ad and ad+d respondents were more likely to consider CK superior to other PCa treatments.
Conclusions: Advertisements regarding CK are misleading and impact laypersons&[prime] impressions regarding effectiveness and safety. Direct-to-consumer advertising for cancer care is problematic, and relies on the advertiser and surrounding community to ensure accuracy and transparency.