A review on the role of tissue-based molecular biomarkers for active surveillance

World J Urol. 2022 Jan;40(1):27-34. doi: 10.1007/s00345-021-03610-y. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Purpose: Over the last decade, we have seen the emergence of tissue-based genomic prognostic markers that can be used for decision-making regarding the need for treatment. This review provides an up-to-date summary of the relevant literature surrounding these markers with a discussion of the relevant strength and limitations.

Methods: We performed a literature search of tissue-based genomic prognostic markers and selected those that were currently available for clinical use. We selected the following markers for further review: Decipher (Decipher Bioscience), Polaris (Myriad), Genome Prostate Score (Oncotype Dx), and Promark. We selected the initial validation study for each marker along with other validation studies in independent cohorts. Furthermore, we selected available clinical utility studies or studies combining multi parametric MRI.

Results: In this article, we provide an in-depth review of four commercially available biomarkers and discuss the current literature surrounding these markers, including the benefits and limitations of their use. We found that each of these markers has evidence supporting their role as an independent predictor of relevant prostate cancer endpoints, which can be helpful for clinical decision-making. However, issues related to heterogeneity and a lack of prospective randomized studies supporting their utility are limitations. Evidence appears to suggest that MRI and genomic risk assessment maybe complementary.

Conclusion: Although these markers can help in improved risk stratification of patients eligible for AS, more prospective studies with head to head comparison between markers are needed to elucidate the true potential of these markers in AS.

Keywords: Active surveillance; Biomarkers; Genomics; Prostate cancer; Proteomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Watchful Waiting / methods*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor