Prostate Cancer Research, 2000-16, its Citation Impact and its Influence on Clinical Practice Guidelines

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We evaluated prostate cancer research outputs from leading countries to see
if they reflected the countries’ research expenditure and disease burden and
determined their impact. Were the countries making the largest contribution to the
evidence base of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for prostate cancer also those
whose papers received the most citations on papers? We selected
papers in the Web of Science (WoS) from 2000-16 with a complex search filter and
analysed their characteristics and citations. We compared countries’ outputs with
their overall research expenditure and their burden of disease from prostate cancer.
We collected 71 clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) from 28 countries and downloaded their
references. Although world output increased from 1696 to 4329 papers over the study period,
prostate cancer research represented only 3.6% of all cancer research in 2016. Europe’s
relative output was less than half its relative cancer burden and that of Africa only one sixth,
but Asia, whose men are less likely to suffer from the disease, published a proportionate
amount. The USA still has the largest output (31% of the total, down from 53% in 2000) but
China’s output has risen very rapidly and is now second. The US and Netherlands papers
were the most cited in the WoS and those from Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden were
the most cited on the CPGs. These CPG references involved research on the main treatments
but relatively few on genetics. Some countries’ CPG references were rather old.
Prostate cancer research is relatively neglected in Europe and particularly in
Africa, but receives more attention in North America, the only continent where its
disease burden relative to all cancer has actually declined. The best-performing
countries in terms of their influence on CPGs differed from those with the best
citation records on the WoS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
Journal Journal of Scientometric Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020


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