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INTRODUCTION: Pre-treatment risk and prognostic groups are the cornerstone for deciding management in non-metastatic prostate cancer. All however, were developed in the pre-MRI era. Here we compared categorisation of cancers using either only clinical parameters or with MRI enhanced information in men referred for suspected prostate cancer from an unscreened population. PATIENT AND METHODS: Data from men referred from primary care to our diagnostic service and with both clinical (digital rectal examination [DRE] and systematic biopsies) and MRI enhanced attributes (MRI stage and combined systematic/targeted biopsies) were used for this study. Clinical vs MRI data were contrasted for clinico-pathological and risk group re-distribution using the European Association of Urology (EAU), American Urological Association (AUA) and UK National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) Cambridge Prognostic Group (CPG) models. Differences were retrofitted to a population cohort with long-term prostate cancer mortality (PCM) outcomes to simulate impact on model performance. We further contrasted individualised overall survival (OS) predictions using the Predict Prostate algorithm. RESULTS: Data from 370 men were included (median age 66y). Pre-biopsy MRI stage reassignments occurred in 7.8% (versus DRE). Image-guided biopsies increased Grade Group 2 and ≥ Grade Group 3 assignments in 2.7% and 2.9% respectively. The main change in risk groups was more high-risk cancers (6.2% increase in the EAU and AUA system, 4.3% increase in CPG4 and 1.9% CPG5). When extrapolated to a historical population-based cohort (n = 10,139) the redistribution resulted in generally lower concordance indices for PCM. The 5-tier NICE-CPG system outperformed the 4-tier AUA and 3-tier EAU models (C Index 0.70 versus 0.65 and 0.64). Using an individualised prognostic model, changes in predicted OS were small (median difference 1% and 2% at 10- and 15-years' respectively). Similarly, estimated treatment survival benefit changes were minimal (1% at both 10- and 15-years' time frame). CONCLUSION: MRI guided diagnostics does change pre-treatment risk groups assignments but the overall prognostic impact appears modest in men referred from unscreened populations. Particularly, when using more granular tiers or individualised prognostic models. Existing risk and prognostic models can continue to be used to counsel men about treatment option until long term survival outcomes are available.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC Cancer

Publication Date





Cancer specific survival, MRI Reclassification, Overall survival, Prognostic groups, Prostate cancer, Aged, Humans, Image-Guided Biopsy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Prognosis, Prostate, Prostatic Neoplasms