Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 184, Issue 3, pp 701–706 | Cite as

Predicting prostate cancer: analysing the clinical efficacy of prostate cancer risk calculators in a referral population

  • R. W. Foley
  • D. J. Lundon
  • K. Murphy
  • T. B. Murphy
  • D. J. Galvin
  • R. W. G. Watson
Original Article



The decision to proceed to biopsy for the diagnosis of prostate cancer in clinical practice is a difficult one. Prostate cancer risk calculators allow for a systematic approach to the use of patient information to predict a patient’s likelihood of prostate cancer.


In this paper, we validate the two leading prostate cancer risk calculators, the prostate cancer prevention trial (PCPT) and the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) in an Irish population.


Data were collected for 337 men referred to one tertiary referral center in Ireland. Calibration analysis, ROC analysis and decision curve analysis were undertaken to ascertain the performance of the PCPT and the ERSPC risk calculators in this cohort.


Of 337 consecutive biopsies, cancer was subsequently diagnosed in 146 men (43 %), 98 (67 %) of which were high grade. The AUC for the PCPT and ERSPC risk calculators were 0.68 and 0.66, respectively for the prediction of prostate cancer. Each calculator was sufficiently calibrated in this cohort. Decision curve analysis demonstrated a net benefit via the use of the PCPT and ERSPC risk calculators in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.


The PCPT and ERSPC risk calculators achieve a statistically significant prediction of prostate cancer in this Irish population. This study provides external validation for these calculators, and therefore these tools can be used to aid in clinical decision making.


Biopsy Decision support techniques Prostatic neoplasm Risk 



RWG Watson and D. J. Lundon received funding from the Prostate Cancer Research Consortium (PCRC) under the Irish Cancer Society, the Urology Foundation and the Irish Research Council. RW Foley received funding through the UCD School of Medicine Intercalated MSc. Medical Science Scholarship Programme.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Foley
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. J. Lundon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • K. Murphy
    • 4
  • T. B. Murphy
    • 4
    • 5
  • D. J. Galvin
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. W. G. Watson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.UCD School of Medicine and Medical ScienceUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical ResearchUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.Department of UrologyMater Misericordiae University HospitalDublin 7Ireland
  4. 4.UCD School of Mathematical SciencesUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  5. 5.Insight Centre for Data AnalyticsUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

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