Neil Fleshner



(416) 946-4501 ext. 2899



Dr. Neil Fleshner is Chair and Professor at the Division of Urology, University of Toronto. Dr. Fleshner is certified in both urology and epidemiology. He earned his MPH degree from the School of Public Health at Columbia University and completed his oncology training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Fleshner is an avid music lover and father of three.

Areas of Specialty and Research Interests

Aside from surgical practice, Dr. Fleshner conducts research on urologic cancer prevention with an emphasis on prostate cancer. He has authored over 400 scientific papers. Dr. Fleshner's current research projects include 2 randomized trials of nutritional intervention in prostate cancer as well as laboratory work assessing oxidative biomarkers and cell cycle regulation in prostate cancer cells exposed to micronutrients.

Affiliated Hospital(s)

Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (UHN), Toronto General Hospital (UHN)

Latest Publications

Understanding how prostate cancer patients value the current treatment options for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer.

Related Articles

Understanding how prostate cancer patients value the current treatment options for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer.

Urol Oncol. 2018 Feb 14;:

Authors: Benidir T, Hersey K, Finelli A, Hamilton R, Joshua AM, Kulkarni G, Zlotta A, Fleshner N

Several new compounds are now available for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Individual costs range between $40,000 and $93,000 with mean survival extensions from 2.4 to 4.8 months. Currently, it remains unclear how patients with prostate cancer (PCa) value the effect of these therapies in the setting of CRPC.
OBJECTIVE: To assess patient understanding of core cancer concepts, opinions on the cost and overall benefit of CRPC drugs, whether out-of-pocket costs would change opinions and whether patients would ultimately opt out of CRPC drug treatment for an end-of-life (EOL) premium.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a qualitative survey among patients with various PCa states ranging from active surveillance to CRPC and from various familial, financial and educational demographics. Through a series of hypothetical scenarios, we extrapolated opinions on CRPC drug value, efficacy and monetary worth. We assessed patient willingness to accept an EOL ($50,000) premium in lieu of CRPC drug treatment. Statistically, chi-squared analysis and Fisher's exact test were used when appropriate.
RESULTS: In total, 103 patients completed the questionnaire, one-half of whom did not understand "advanced PCa" state and more than one-third of the concept of palliative care despite multiple meetings with Urologists. Patients willingness-to-pay and proposed drug value was higher than that accepted by government when government funded, with costs exceeding $250,000 per person, but lower than that accepted by government when self-funded. A majority (60%) would accept/consider the EOL premium in the setting of CRPC. Patients with higher education were more skeptical about CRPC drug value and more likely to accept the EOL premium (P = 0.003.) CONCLUSION: Patients have an incomplete understanding of their own disease prognosis and its therapeutic options. This ultimately influences patient decision-making. Education, income and out-of-pocket costs diminished opinion of CRPC drugs considerably. As such, an EOL premium should be considered in subsets of patients.

PMID: 29454590 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]