Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
A risk calculator to inform the need for a .........pdf (1.43 MB)

A risk calculator to inform the need for a prostate biopsy: a rapid access clinic cohort

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posted on 2022-09-05, 13:19 authored by Amirhossein Jalali, Robert W Foley, Robert M Maweni, Keefe Murphy, Dara J Lundon, Thomas Lynch, Richard PowerRichard Power, Frank O'Brien, Kieran J O'Malley, David J Galvin, Garrett C Durkan, T Brendan Murphy, R William Watson

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) represents a significant healthcare problem. The critical clinical question is the need for a biopsy. Accurate risk stratification of patients before a biopsy can allow for individualised risk stratification thus improving clinical decision making. This study aims to build a risk calculator to inform the need for a prostate biopsy.

Methods: Using the clinical information of 4801 patients an Irish Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator (IPRC) for diagnosis of PCa and high grade (Gleason ≥7) was created using a binary regression model including age, digital rectal examination, family history of PCa, negative prior biopsy and Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level as risk factors. The discrimination ability of the risk calculator is internally validated using cross validation to reduce overfitting, and its performance compared with PSA and the American risk calculator (PCPT), Prostate Biopsy Collaborative Group (PBCG) and European risk calculator (ERSPC) using various performance outcome summaries. In a subgroup of 2970 patients, prostate volume was included. Separate risk calculators including the prostate volume (IPRCv) for the diagnosis of PCa (and high-grade PCa) was created.

Results: IPRC area under the curve (AUC) for the prediction of PCa and high-grade PCa was 0.6741 (95% CI, 0.6591 to 0.6890) and 0.7214 (95% CI, 0.7018 to 0.7409) respectively. This significantly outperforms the predictive ability of cancer detection for PSA (0.5948), PCPT (0.6304), PBCG (0.6528) and ERSPC (0.6502) risk calculators; and also, for detecting high-grade cancer for PSA (0.6623) and PCPT (0.6804) but there was no significant improvement for PBCG (0.7185) and ERSPC (0.7140). The inclusion of prostate volume into the risk calculator significantly improved the AUC for cancer detection (AUC = 0.7298; 95% CI, 0.7119 to 0.7478), but not for high-grade cancer (AUC = 0.7256; 95% CI, 0.7017 to 0.7495). The risk calculator also demonstrated an increased net benefit on decision curve analysis.

Conclusion: The risk calculator developed has advantages over prior risk stratification of prostate cancer patients before the biopsy. It will reduce the number of men requiring a biopsy and their exposure to its side effects. The interactive tools developed are beneficial to translate the risk calculator into practice and allows for clarity in the clinical recommendations.


Health Research Board (HRA-POR-2015-1116)

Irish Cancer Society (PCI11WAT) via the Prostate Cancer Research Consortium

UCD School of Medicine Intercalated MSc. Medical Science Scholarship Programme

Urology Foundation



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Jalali A. et al. A risk calculator to inform the need for a prostate biopsy: a rapid access clinic cohort. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2020;20(1):148.

Publication Date

3 July 2020

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Surgery


BioMed Central


  • Published Version (Version of Record)