Assessing individual risk for prostate cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2007 Aug 20;25(24):3582-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.10.6450.


Purpose: To construct a clinical nomogram instrument to estimate individual risk for having prostate cancer (PC) for patients undergoing prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, using all risk factors known for PC.

Patients and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 3,108 men who underwent a prostate biopsy, including a subset of 408 volunteers with normal PSA levels. Factors including age, family history of PC (FHPC), ethnicity, urinary symptoms, PSA, free:total PSA ratio, and digital rectal examination (DRE) were incorporated in the model. A nomogram was constructed to assess risk for any and high-grade PC (Gleason score >or= 7).

Results: Of the 3,108 men, 1,304 (42.0%) were found to have PC. Among the 408 men with a normal PSA (< 4.0 ng/mL), 99 (24.3%) had PC. All risk factors were important predictors for PC by multivariate analysis (P, .01 to .0001). The area under the curve (AUC) for the nomogram in predicting cancer, which included age, ethnicity, FHPC, urinary symptoms, free:total PSA ratio, PSA, and DRE, was 0.74 (95% CI, 0.71 to 0.81) and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.74 to 0.81) for high-grade cancer. This was significantly greater than the AUC that considered using the conventional screening method of PSA and DRE only (0.62; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.66 for any cancer; 0.69; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.73 for high-grade cancer). From receiver operating characteristic analysis, risk factors including age, ethnicity, FHPC, symptoms, and free:total PSA ratio contributed significantly more predictive information than PSA and DRE.

Conclusion: In a PC screening program, it is important to consider age, family history of PC, ethnicity, urinary voiding symptoms, and free:total PSA ratio, in addition to PSA and DRE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nomograms*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen