Rates of Positive Abdominal Computed Tomography and Bone Scan Findings Among Men with Cambridge Prognostic Group 4 or 5 prostate cancer: A Nationwide Registry Study

Eur Urol Open Sci. 2022 Jun 11;41:123-125. doi: 10.1016/j.euros.2022.05.007. eCollection 2022 Jul.


European and American guidelines recommend abdominal computed tomography (CT) and bone scans for staging of high-risk prostate cancer (PC). To improve clinical risk stratification of nonmetastatic PC a new, five-tier risk classification system has been developed, the Cambridge Prognostic Groups (CPG), in which "high-risk" PC is divided into favourable CPG 4 and unfavourable CPG 5. We used the National Prostate Cancer Register of Sweden (NPCR) to define the rates of positive CT and bone scan findings among men with CPG 4 or 5 cancer. Among men with CPG 4 and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) <50 ng/ml, only 3.6% (95% confidence interval 2.9-4.5%) of the CT scans showed regional lymph-node metastasis (N1M0), while 6.2% (95% confidence interval 5.4-7.0%) of the bone scans were positive. Rates for both were higher in the subgroups with PSA 50-99 ng/ml (10% and 15%) and with CPG 5 disease. The low positivity rate questions routine use of CT for men with CPG 4 cancer and PSA <50 ng/ml, particularly considering the poor sensitivity and specificity for detection of lymph node metastasis. The positivity rate was higher for bone scans, and as current clinical practice relies on trials using bone scans for staging (eg, to define low- versus high-volume metastatic disease), continued routine use of bone scans seems justified.

Patient summary: Our analysis of data from the National Prostate Cancer Register of Sweden showed that for men with favourable high-risk prostate cancer (Cambridge Prognostic Group 4), the rate of positive computed tomography (CT) scans was low. This result suggests that CT scans may not be necessary for detecting cancer spread in men with Cambridge Prognostic Group 4 prostate cancer .

Keywords: Bone scan; Computed tomography; Metastasis; Prostate cancer; Staging.