Building a risk calculator to inform prostate cancer diagnosis

Patients and clinicians are faced with the dilemmas associated with the detection and treatment of Prostate cancer. One such dilemma is in the early stages of diagnosis when men are referred by their GP for suspicion of prostate cancer but it is not clear if they need a biopsy or not. This is because PSA in not specific for prostate cancer and has led to the over diagnosis and treatment of disease exposing men to unnecessary biopsies and worry about their diagnosis. A number of new risk calculators are emerging from the international literature but when tested in an Irish population are not helpful. This is mainly because they have not been developed in an Irish population. This proposed study, which has been driven by the direct needs of the urologist and patients at the rapid access clinics recently set up by the National Cancer Control Programme, is designed to build an Irish risk calculator. This will use data from all the rapid access clinics in Ireland and be used in an Irish population of men undergoing assessment for prostate cancer. We hypothesis that such a calculator will better determine if a man presenting to the national rapid access clinics requires a biopsy or not and give them the confidence to trust this result. This will impact and improve on the patients outcome and quality of life but also alleviate the pressures on our already over burdened health care sector by reducing the need for biopsys. The research team who have been working together on novel statistical approaches and biomarker discovery and validation studies will further develop their collaboration to address this important clinical question.


Award Date
20 October 2016
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor William Watson
Host Institution
University College Dublin
Health Research Awards