Projecting Benefits and Harms of Novel Cancer Screening Biomarkers: A Study of PCA3 and Prostate Cancer.
ABSTRACT: New biomarkers for early detection of cancer must pass through several phases of development. Early phases provide information on diagnostic properties but not on population benefits and harms. Prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) is a promising prostate cancer biomarker still in early development. We use simulation modeling to project the impact of adding PCA3 to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening on prostate cancer detection and mortality in the United States.We used data from a recent study of PCA3 in men referred for prostate biopsy to extend an existing simulation model of PSA growth, disease progression, and survival. We specified several PSA-PCA3 strategies designed to improve specificity and reduce overdiagnosis. Using these strategies to screen a cohort of men biennially between ages 50 and 74, we projected true- and false-positive tests, overdiagnoses, and lives saved relative to a PSA-based strategy with a cutoff of 4.0 ng/mL for biopsy referral.We identified several PSA-PCA3 strategies that substantially reduced false-positive tests and overdiagnoses while preserving the majority of lives saved. PCA3>35 for biopsy referral in men with PSA between 4.0 and 10.0 ng/mL retained 85% of lives saved while approximately halving false positives and reducing overdiagnoses by 25%.Adding PCA3 to PSA screening can significantly reduce adverse screening outcomes. Strategies can be identified that preserve most of the lives saved relative to PSA-based screening.Simulation modeling provides advance projections of population outcomes of new screening biomarkers and may help guide early detection research.
Project description:The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently concluded that the harms of existing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening strategies outweigh the benefits.To evaluate comparative effectiveness of alternative PSA screening strategies.Microsimulation model of prostate cancer incidence and mortality quantifying harms and lives saved for alternative PSA screening strategies.National and trial data on PSA growth, screening and biopsy patterns, incidence, treatment distributions, treatment efficacy, and mortality.A contemporary cohort of U.S. men.Lifetime.Societal.35 screening strategies that vary by start and stop ages, screening intervals, and thresholds for biopsy referral.PSA tests, false-positive test results, cancer detected, overdiagnoses, prostate cancer deaths, lives saved, and months of life saved.Without screening, the risk for prostate cancer death is 2.86%. A reference strategy that screens men aged 50 to 74 years annually with a PSA threshold for biopsy referral of 4 µg/L reduces the risk for prostate cancer death to 2.15%, with risk for overdiagnosis of 3.3%. A strategy that uses higher PSA thresholds for biopsy referral in older men achieves a similar risk for prostate cancer death (2.23%) but reduces the risk for overdiagnosis to 2.3%. A strategy that screens biennially with longer screening intervals for men with low PSA levels achieves similar risks for prostate cancer death (2.27%) and overdiagnosis (2.4%), but reduces total tests by 59% and false-positive results by 50%.Varying incidence inputs or reducing the survival improvement due to screening did not change conclusions.The model is a simplification of the natural history of prostate cancer, and improvement in survival due to screening is uncertain.Compared with standard screening, PSA screening strategies that use higher thresholds for biopsy referral for older men and that screen men with low PSA levels less frequently can reduce harms while preserving lives.National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Studies conducted in Swedish populations have shown that men with lowest prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels at ages 44-50 years and 60 years have very low risk of future distant metastasis or death from prostate cancer. This study investigates benefits and harms of screening strategies stratified by PSA levels. METHODS:PSA levels and diagnosis patterns from two microsimulation models of prostate cancer progression, detection, and mortality were compared against results of the Malmö Preventive Project, which stored serum and tracked subsequent prostate cancer diagnoses for 25?years. The models predicted the harms (tests and overdiagnoses) and benefits (lives saved and life-years gained) of PSA-stratified screening strategies compared with biennial screening from age 45 years to age 69 years. RESULTS:Compared with biennial screening for ages 45-69 years, lengthening screening intervals for men with PSA less than 1.0?ng/mL at age 45 years led to 46.8-47.0% fewer tests (range between models), 0.9-2.1% fewer overdiagnoses, and 3.1-3.8% fewer lives saved. Stopping screening when PSA was less than 1.0?ng/mL at age 60 years and older led to 12.8-16.0% fewer tests, 5.0-24.0% fewer overdiagnoses, and 5.0-13.1% fewer lives saved. Differences in model results can be partially explained by differences in assumptions about the link between PSA growth and the risk of disease progression. CONCLUSION:Relative to a biennial screening strategy, PSA-stratified screening strategies investigated in this study substantially reduced the testing burden and modestly reduced overdiagnosis while preserving most lives saved. Further research is needed to clarify the link between PSA growth and disease progression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Several prostate cancer (PCa) early-detection biomarkers are available for reflex testing in men with intermediate prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Studies of these biomarkers typically provide information about diagnostic performance but not about overdiagnosis and lives saved, the primary drivers of associated harm and benefit. METHODS:We projected overdiagnoses and lives saved using an established microsimulation model of PCa incidence and mortality with screening and treatment efficacy based on randomized trials. We used this framework to evaluate four urinary reflex biomarkers (measured in 1112 men presenting for prostate biopsy at 10?US academic or community clinics) and two hypothetical ideal biomarkers (with 100% sensitivity or specificity for any or for high-grade PCa) at one-time screening tests at ages 55 and 65 years. RESULTS:Compared with biopsying all men with elevated PSA, reflex testing reduced overdiagnoses (range across ages and biomarkers = 8.8-60.6%) but also reduced lives saved (by 7.3-64.9%), producing similar overdiagnoses per life saved. The ideal biomarker for high-grade disease improved this ratio (by 35.2% at age 55 years and 42.0% at age 65 years). Results were similar under continued screening for men not diagnosed at age 55 years, but the ideal biomarker for high-grade disease produced smaller incremental improvement. CONCLUSIONS:Modeling is a useful tool for projecting the implications of using reflex biomarkers for long-term PCa outcomes. Under simplified conditions, reflex testing with urinary biomarkers is expected to reduce overdiagnoses but also produce commensurate reductions in lives saved. Reflex testing that accurately identifies high-grade PCa could improve the net benefit of screening.
Project description:Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer has high risks of overdiagnosis, particularly among older men, and reports from screening trials indicate that it saves few lives after 11 to 13 years of follow-up. New clinical guidelines recommend against PSA screening for all men or for men aged >70 years, but, to the authors' knowledge, the expected population effects of these guidelines have not been studied to date.Two models of prostate cancer natural history and diagnosis were previously developed using reconstructed PSA screening patterns and prostate cancer incidence in the United States. Assuming a survival benefit of PSA screening consistent with the screening trials, the authors used the models to predict incidence and mortality rates for the period from 2013 through 2025 under continued PSA screening and under discontinued PSA screening for all men or for men aged >70 years.The models predicted that continuation of recent screening rates will overdiagnose 710,000 to 1,120,000 men (range between models) but will avoid 36,000 to 57,000 cancer deaths over the period 2013 through 2025. Discontinued screening for all men eliminated 100% of overdiagnoses but failed to prevent 100% of avoidable cancer deaths. Continued screening for men aged <70 years eliminated 64% to 66% of overdiagnoses but failed to prevent 36% to 39% of avoidable cancer deaths.Discontinuing PSA screening for all men may generate many avoidable cancer deaths. Continuing PSA screening for men aged <70 years could prevent greater than one-half of these avoidable cancer deaths while dramatically reducing overdiagnoses compared with continued PSA screening for all ages.
Project description:Prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) is a biomarker for diagnosing prostate cancer (PCa) identified in the Caucasian population. We evaluated the effectiveness of urinary PCA3 in predicting the biopsy result in 500 men undergoing initial prostate biopsy. The predictive power of the PCA3 score was evaluated by the area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) and by decision curve analysis. PCA3 score sufficed to discriminate positive from negative prostate biopsy results but was not correlated with the aggressiveness of PCa. The ROC analysis showed a higher AUC for the PCA3 score than %fPSA (0.750 vs 0.622, P = 0.046) in patients with a PSA of 4.0-10.0 ng ml-1 , but the PCA3-based model is not significantly better than the base model. Decision curve analysis indicates the PCA3-based model was superior to the base model with a higher net benefit for almost all threshold probabilities, especially the threshold probabilities of 25%-40% in patients with a PSA of 4.0-10.0 ng ml-1 . However, the AUC of the PCA3 score (0.712) is not superior to %fPSA (0.698) or PSAD (0.773) in patients with a PSA >10.0 ng ml-1 . Our results confirmed that the RT-PCR-based PCA3 test moderately improved diagnostic accuracy in Chinese patients undergoing first prostate biopsy with a PSA of 4.0-10.0 ng ml-1 .
Project description:Although prostate-specific antigen (PSA) serum level is currently the standard of care for prostate cancer screening in the United States, it lacks ideal specificity and additional biomarkers are needed to supplement or potentially replace serum PSA testing. Emerging evidence suggests that monitoring the noncoding RNA transcript PCA3 in urine may be useful in detecting prostate cancer in patients with elevated PSA levels. Here, we show that a multiplex panel of urine transcripts outperforms PCA3 transcript alone for the detection of prostate cancer. We measured the expression of seven putative prostate cancer biomarkers, including PCA3, in sedimented urine using quantitative PCR on a cohort of 234 patients presenting for biopsy or radical prostatectomy. By univariate analysis, we found that increased GOLPH2, SPINK1, and PCA3 transcript expression and TMPRSS2:ERG fusion status were significant predictors of prostate cancer. Multivariate regression analysis showed that a multiplexed model, including these biomarkers, outperformed serum PSA or PCA3 alone in detecting prostate cancer. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.758 for the multiplexed model versus 0.662 for PCA3 alone (P = 0.003). The sensitivity and specificity for the multiplexed model were 65.9% and 76.0%, respectively, and the positive and negative predictive values were 79.8% and 60.8%, respectively. Taken together, these results provide the framework for the development of highly optimized, multiplex urine biomarker tests for more accurate detection of prostate cancer.
Project description:More than 1,000,000 men undergo prostate biopsy each year in the United States, most for "elevated" serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Given the lack of specificity and unclear mortality benefit of PSA testing, methods to individualize management of elevated PSA are needed. Greater than 50% of PSA-screened prostate cancers harbor fusions between the transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog (avian) (ERG) genes. Here, we report a clinical-grade, transcription-mediated amplification assay to risk stratify and detect prostate cancer noninvasively in urine. The TMPRSS2:ERG fusion transcript was quantitatively measured in prospectively collected whole urine from 1312 men at multiple centers. Urine TMPRSS2:ERG was associated with indicators of clinically significant cancer at biopsy and prostatectomy, including tumor size, high Gleason score at prostatectomy, and upgrading of Gleason grade at prostatectomy. TMPRSS2:ERG, in combination with urine prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3), improved the performance of the multivariate Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial risk calculator in predicting cancer on biopsy. In the biopsy cohorts, men in the highest and lowest of three TMPRSS2:ERG+PCA3 score groups had markedly different rates of cancer, clinically significant cancer by Epstein criteria, and high-grade cancer on biopsy. Our results demonstrate that urine TMPRSS2:ERG, in combination with urine PCA3, enhances the utility of serum PSA for predicting prostate cancer risk and clinically relevant cancer on biopsy.
Project description:TMPRSS2:ERG (T2:ERG) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) are the most advanced urine-based prostate cancer (PCa) early detection biomarkers.Validate logistic regression models, termed Mi-Prostate Score (MiPS), that incorporate serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA; or the multivariate Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial risk calculator version 1.0 [PCPTrc]) and urine T2:ERG and PCA3 scores for predicting PCa and high-grade PCa on biopsy.T2:ERG and PCA3 scores were generated using clinical-grade transcription-mediated amplification assays. Pretrained MiPS models were applied to a validation cohort of whole urine samples prospectively collected after digital rectal examination from 1244 men presenting for biopsy.Area under the curve (AUC) was used to compare the performance of serum PSA (or the PCPTrc) alone and MiPS models. Decision curve analysis (DCA) was used to assess clinical benefit.Among informative validation cohort samples (n=1225 [98%], 80% from patients presenting for initial biopsy), models incorporating T2:ERG had significantly greater AUC than PSA (or PCPTrc) for predicting PCa (PSA: 0.693 vs 0.585; PCPTrc: 0.718 vs 0.639; both p<0.001) or high-grade (Gleason score >6) PCa on biopsy (PSA: 0.729 vs 0.651, p<0.001; PCPTrc: 0.754 vs 0.707, p=0.006). MiPS models incorporating T2:ERG score had significantly greater AUC (all p<0.001) than models incorporating only PCA3 plus PSA (or PCPTrc or high-grade cancer PCPTrc [PCPThg]). DCA demonstrated net benefit of the MiPS_PCPTrc (or MiPS_PCPThg) model compared with the PCPTrc (or PCPThg) across relevant threshold probabilities.Incorporating urine T2:ERG and PCA3 scores improves the performance of serum PSA (or PCPTrc) for predicting PCa and high-grade PCa on biopsy.Incorporation of two prostate cancer (PCa)-specific biomarkers (TMPRSS2:ERG and PCA3) measured in the urine improved on serum prostate-specific antigen (or a multivariate risk calculator) for predicting the presence of PCa and high-grade PCa on biopsy. A combined test, Mi-Prostate Score, uses models validated in this study and is clinically available to provide individualized risk estimates.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Prostate Cancer 3 (PCA3) is a long non-coding RNA (ncRNA) upregulated in prostate cancer (PCa). We recently identified a short ncRNA expressed from intron 1 of PCA3. Here we test the ability of this ncRNA to predict the presence of cancer in men with a biopsy without PCa. METHODS:We selected men whose initial biopsy did not identify PCa and selected matched cohorts whose subsequent biopsies revealed PCa or benign tissue. We extracted RNA from the initial biopsy and measured PCA3-shRNA2, PCA3 and PSA (qRT-PCR). RESULTS:We identified 116 men with and 94 men without an eventual diagnosis of PCa in 2-5 biopsies (mean 26 months), collected from 2002-2008. The cohorts were similar for age, PSA and surveillance period. We detected PSA and PCA3-shRNA2 RNA in all samples, and PCA3 RNA in 90% of biopsies. The expression of PCA3 and PCA3-shRNA2 were correlated (Pearson's r = 0.37, p<0.01). There was upregulation of PCA3 (2.1-fold, t-test p = 0.02) and PCA3-shRNA2 (1.5-fold) in men with PCa on subsequent biopsy, although this was not significant for the latter RNA (p = 0.2). PCA3 was associated with the future detection of PCa (C-index 0.61, p = 0.01). This was not the case for PCA3-shRNA2 (C-index 0.55, p = 0.2). CONCLUSIONS:PCA3 and PCA3-shRNA2 expression are detectable in historic biopsies and their expression is correlated suggesting co-expression. PCA3 expression was upregulated in men with PCa diagnosed at a future date, the same did not hold for PCA3-shRNA2. Futures studies should explore expression in urine and look at a time course between biopsy and PCa detection.
Project description:In 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.The 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, 7, or >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.Incorporating 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.The use of PCA3 or T2:ERG testing for repeat biopsy decisions can substantially reduce the number of biopsies without significantly affecting 10-year survival.