Prostate cancer detection in the "grey Area" of prostate-specific antigen below 10 ng/ml: Head-to-head comparison of the updated PCPT calculator and chun's nomogram, two risk estimators incorporating prostate cancer antigen 3

Sisto Perdon, Vitor Cavadas, Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Rocco Damiano, Gennaro Chiappetta, Paola Del Prete, Renato Franco, Giuseppina Azzarito, Stefania Scala, Claudio Arra, Marco De Sio, Riccardo Autorino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) holds promise in diagnosing prostate cancer (PCa), but no consensus has been reached on its clinical use. Multivariable predictive models have shown increased accuracy over individual risk factors. Objective: To compare the performance of the two available risk estimators incorporating PCA3 in the detection of PCa in the "grey area" of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) 10 ng/ml) and/or abnormal digital rectal examination were prospectively enrolled in a multicentre Italian study between October 2008 and October 2009. All patients underwent ≥12-core prostate biopsy. Measurements: PCA3 scores were assessed using the Progensa assay (Gen-Probe, San Diego, CA, USA). Comparisons between the two models were performed using tests of accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC-ROC]), calibration plots, and decision curve analysis. Biopsy predictors were identified by univariable and multivariable logistic regression. In addition, performance of PCA3 was analysed through AUC-ROC and predictive values. Results and limitations: PCa was detected in 73 patients (33.5%). Among predictors included in the models, only PCA3, PSA, and prostate volume retained significant predictive value. AUC-ROC was higher for the updated PCPT calculator compared to Chun's nomogram (79.6% vs 71.5%; p = 0.043); however, Chun's nomogram displayed better overall calibration and a higher net benefit on decision curve analysis. Using a probability threshold of 25%, no high-grade cancers would be missed; the PCPT calculator would save 11% of biopsies, missing no cancer, whereas Chun's nomogram would save 22% of avoidable biopsies, although missing 4.1% non-high-grade cancers. The small number of patients may account for the lack of statistical significance in the predictive value of individual variables or model comparison. Conclusions: Both Chun's nomogram and the PCPT calculator, by incorporating PCA3, can assist in the decision to biopsy by assignment of an individual risk of PCa, specifically in the PSA levels

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011



  • Calculator
  • Diagnosis
  • Nomogram
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate cancer gene 3
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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