Clinical-genomic Characterization Unveils More Aggressive Disease Features in Elderly Prostate Cancer Patients with Low-grade Disease

Eur Urol Focus. 2021 Jul;7(4):797-806. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2020.02.008. Epub 2020 Mar 7.


Background: Over 20% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer (PC) are ≥75 yr old. More objective disease-specific indices for predicting outcomes beyond chronological age are necessary.

Objective: To analyze age-related differences in clinical-genomic prognostic features of aggressiveness in localized PC.

Design, setting, and participants: A retrospective multicenter cross-sectional study reported the use of the Reporting Recommendations for Tumor Marker Prognostic Studies (REMARK) guidelines. Clinical-genomic data of patients who underwent a prostate biopsy or radical prostatectomy (RP) were obtained from the Decipher Genomic Resource Information Database (NCT02609269).

Intervention: Our analyses focused on the 22-gene Decipher genomic classifier (GC) and 50-gene (PAM50) models in the biopsy and RP cohorts stratified by age.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: The primary endpoint was the impact of age on GC scores and PAM50 molecular subtypes. Prognostic indices including Decipher GC scores, PAM50 molecular subtypes, National Comprehensive Cancer Network risk categories, and ISUP grade groups (IGGs) were stratified by age using multivariable logistic regression analyses.

Results and limitations: Within histological low-risk IGGs, there were a higher proportion of patients with high-risk Decipher biopsy scores with age (age <60 yr: 10.1% IGG 1 and 29.9% IGG 2 vs age ≥80 yr: 22% IGG 1 and 37.7% IGG 2). The prevalence of the adverse phenotype luminal B (PAM50-defined) increased with age (age <60 yr: 22.7% and 40.2% vs age ≥80 yr: 29.7% and 49.1%, in patients with IGG 1 and IGG 2, respectively). In IGGs 3-5, no age differences were observed. Multivariable models demonstrated that each age decile entailed a 19% (odds ratio [OR] 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10-1.29, p < 0.001) and a 10% (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.05-1.16) increased probability for a high-risk Decipher biopsy and RP score, respectively. Aside from an obvious selection bias, data on race, family history, prostate volume, and long-term follow-up outcomes were unavailable.

Conclusions: These data demonstrated that elderly men with favorable pathology (IGG 1-2), might harbor more aggressive disease than younger patients based on validated GC scores.

Patient summary: The presented clinical-genomic data demonstrate that elderly patients with low-risk prostate cancer might harbor more aggressive disease than their younger counterparts. This suggests that standard well-accepted paradigm of elderly prostate cancer patients not being aggressively treated, based solely on their chronological age, might need to be reconsidered.

Keywords: Age; Decipher; Genomic classifier; Gleason group grade; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Male
  • Prostatectomy / adverse effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Immunoglobulin G

Associated data