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AIMS: There is increasing evidence of Gleason score (GS) drift in prostatic core biopsies during the last two decades. The ProtecT study is a randomized controlled study and provides an excellent cohort to study the effect of time, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, perineural invasion, tumour length and age on GS. METHODS AND RESULTS: The ProtecT study recruited men in the United Kingdom between 1999 and 2010. The Gleason scores were grouped into four categories ≤ 3 + 3, 3 + 4, 4 + 3 and ≥ 4 + 4 for analysis. Data from England between 2000 and 2012 were also available. A total of 3282 biopsies containing cancer were analysed. For each year of the ProtecT study, the odds of being diagnosed with a higher GS category increased by 4.9%. Higher GS was also associated with perineural invasion, increasing tumour length, age and PSA level. While biopsy GS from England was incomplete, it also showed a marked decrease in GS five and six tumours during the same period. CONCLUSION: There was GS drift from 3 + 3 to 3 + 4 with time in the ProtecT study, but there appeared to be no significant change in percentage of GS 4 + 3 or higher. This drift was less dramatic when compared to GS in the rest of England.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





438 - 446


Gleason, ProtecT, biopsy, drift, prostate cancer, Aged, Biopsy, Needle, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Grading, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms, United Kingdom