A Systematic Review of the Evidence for the Decipher Genomic Classifier in Prostate Cancer

Eur Urol. 2021 Mar;79(3):374-383. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2020.11.021. Epub 2020 Dec 5.


Context: Molecular biomarkers aim to address the established limitations of clinicopathologic factors to accurately risk stratify patients with prostate cancer (PCa). Questions remain as to whether sufficient evidence supports adoption of these biomarkers for clinical use.

Objective: To perform a systematic review of the available evidence supporting the clinical utility of the Decipher genomic classifier (GC).

Evidence acquisition: The review was performed as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines by searching PubMed and conference abstracts from January 2010 to June 2020. Evidence was then graded using the criteria of Simon et al (Simon RM, Paik S, Hayes DF. Use of archived specimens in evaluation of prognostic and predictive biomarkers. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009;101:1446-52) and American Urology Association (AUA) criteria.

Evidence synthesis: In total, 42 studies and 30407 patients were included. GC performance data were available for localized, postprostatectomy, nonmetastatic castration-resistant, and metastatic hormone-sensitive PCa as part of retrospective studies (n=12141), prospective registries (n=17053), and prospective and post hoc randomized trial analyses (n=1213). In 32 studies (n=12600), the GC was independently prognostic for all study endpoints (adverse pathology, biochemical failure, metastasis, and cancer-specific and overall survival) on multivariable analysis and improved the discrimination over standard of care in 24 studies (n=8543). GC use changed the management in active surveillance (number needed to test [NNT]=9) and postprostatectomy (NNT=1.5-4) settings in five studies (n=4331). Evidence strength was levels 1 and 2 by the Simon criteria for all disease states other than high-risk PCa, and grades A and B by AUA criteria depending on disease state.

Conclusions: Consistent data are now present from diverse levels of evidence, which when viewed together, have demonstrated clinical utility of the GC in PCa. The utility of the GC is strongest for intermediate-risk PCa and postprostatectomy decision-making.

Patient summary: In this paper, we review the evidence of the Decipher genomic classification tool for men with prostate cancer. We found consistent evidence that the test helps identify which cancers are more or less aggressive, which in turn aids in personalized treatment decision-making.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Decipher; Prognosis; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Genome
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States