Changes in mortality and incidence of prostate cancer by risk class in different periods in Italy

Massimo Vicentini, Claudio Sacchettini, Annalisa Trama, Nicola Nicolai, Gemma Gatta, Laura Botta, Riccardo Valdagni, Paolo Giorgi Rossi, Fabio Pannozzo, Paolo Contiero, Mario Fusco, Michele Lodde, Guido Mazzoleni, Silvano Piffer, Rosario Tumino, Antonella Puppo, Andreas Seeber, Lucia Mangone, Prostate Cancer High-Resolution Study Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In Italy, the spread of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing varies in different areas. A peak of incidence was reached in 2003-2004 in some areas, while in others the incidence is still increasing. Mortality has declined since 1999 in some areas, while it remains stable in others. We compared mortality and the risk of advanced cancer over 2 periods (1996-1998; 2005-2007) and by geographic area characterized by a different spread of PSA, to understand the possible impact of PSA on the epidemiology of prostate cancer. Methods: In 8 Italian Cancer Registries (CRs), 4,632 cases diagnosed over 2 periods, 1996-1998 and 2005-2007, were sampled to assess risk class. The CRs were classified into late and early phase of PSA testing depending on whether an incidence peak had been reached by 2008. Incidence by risk class was estimated based on overall incidence in each CR and on risk class distribution in the sample. We calculated standardized mortality (MRR) and risk class-specific incidence rate ratios (IRR) to compare the 2 periods. Results: Incidence increased from 1996-1998 to 2005-2007 (IRR 1.5; 95% CI 1.4, 1.6). High-risk and metastatic cancer incidence decreased only in late-phase areas (IRR 0.78; 95% CI 0.69, 0.88; and 0.40; 95% CI 0.30, 0.54, respectively), while in early-phase areas, incidence remained virtually stable (IRR 1.2; 95% CI 1.0, 1.4; and 0.77; 95% CI 0.59, 1.0, respectively). Mortality decreased only in late-phase areas (MRR 0.81; 95% CI 0.85, 0.97; vs 1.1; 95% CI 0.92, 1.2) in early-phase areas. Conclusions: Mortality reduction and a decrease in high-risk and metastatic cases occurred simultaneously only in areas in late phase of PSA spread.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Prostate cancer
  • PSA test
  • Risk classes


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