Formalized prediction of clinically significant prostate cancer: is it possible?

Asian J Androl. 2012 May;14(3):349-54. doi: 10.1038/aja.2011.140. Epub 2012 Feb 27.


Greater understanding of the biology and epidemiology of prostate cancer in the last several decades have led to significant advances in its management. Prostate cancer is now detected in greater numbers at lower stages of disease and is amenable to multiple forms of efficacious treatment. However, there is a lack of conclusive data demonstrating a definitive mortality benefit from this earlier diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. It is likely due to the treatment of a large proportion of indolent cancers that would have had little adverse impact on health or lifespan if left alone. Due to this overtreatment phenomenon, active surveillance with delayed intervention is gaining traction as a viable management approach in contemporary practice. The ability to distinguish clinically insignificant cancers from those with a high risk of progression and/or lethality is critical to the appropriate selection of patients for surveillance protocols versus immediate intervention. This chapter will review the ability of various prediction models, including risk groupings and nomograms, to predict indolent disease and determine their role in the contemporary management of clinically localized prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sentinel Surveillance*
  • Unnecessary Procedures*
  • Watchful Waiting