BACKGROUNDIn men with clinically localized prostate cancer who have undergone at least 1 previous negative biopsy and have elevated serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, long-term health outcomes associated with the assessment of urinary prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) and the transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2):v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog (avian) (ERG) gene fusion (T2:ERG) have not been investigated previously in relation to the decision to recommend a repeat biopsy.
METHODSThe authors performed a decision analysis using a decision tree for men with elevated PSA levels. The probability of cancer was estimated using the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial Risk Calculator (version 2.0). The use of PSA alone was compared with the use of PCA3 and T2:ERG scores, with each evaluated independently, in combination with PSA to trigger a repeat biopsy. When PCA3 and T2:ERG score evaluations were used, predefined thresholds were established to determine whether the patient should undergo a repeat biopsy. Biopsy outcomes were defined as either positive (with a Gleason score of 7) or negative. Probabilities and estimates of 10-year overall survival and 15-year cancer-specific survival were derived from previous studies and a literature review. Outcomes were defined as age-dependent and Gleason score-dependent 10-year overall and 15-year cancer-specific survival rates and the percentage of biopsies avoided.
RESULTSIncorporating the PCA3 score (biopsy threshold, 25; generated based on the urine PCA3 level normalized to the amount of PSA messenger RNA) or the T2:ERG score (biopsy threshold, 10; based on the urine T2:ERG level normalized to the amount of PSA messenger RNA) into the decision to recommend repeat biopsy would have avoided 55.4% or 64.7% of repeat biopsies for the base-case patient, respectively, and changes in the 10-year survival rate were only 0.93% or 1.41%, respectively. Multi-way sensitivity analyses suggested that these results were robust with respect to the model parameters.
CONCLUSIONSThe use of PCA3 or T2:ERG testing for repeat biopsy decisions can substantially reduce the number of biopsies without significantly affecting 10-year survival. Cancer 2015;121:4071-4079. (c) 2015 American Cancer Society.
Newly developed biomarkers for prostate cancer are associated with repeat biopsy outcomes, but their impact on survival rates and on the number of unnecessary biopsies remains unclear. The current results indicate that new biomarkers significantly reduce the number of biopsies performed at the expense of some reduction in survival.