Using nuclear morphometry to predict the need for treatment among men with low grade, low stage prostate cancer enrolled in a program of expectant management with curative intent.


We assessed the use of quantitative clinical and pathologic information to predict which patients would eventually require treatment for prostate cancer (CaP) in an expectant management (EM) cohort.

We identified 75 men having prostate cancer with favorable initial biopsy characteristics; 30 developed an unfavorable biopsy (Gleason grade >6, >2 cores with cancer, >50% of a core with cancer, or a palpable nodule) requiring treatment and 45 maintained favorable biopsies throughout a median follow-up of 2.7 years. Demographic, clinical data and quantitative tissue histomorphometry determined by digital image analysis were analyzed.

Logistic regression (LR) modeling generated a quantitative nuclear grade (QNG) signature based on the enrollment biopsy for differentiation of Favorable and Unfavorable groups using a variable LR selection criteria of P(z)<0.05. The QNG signature utilized 12 nuclear morphometric descriptors (NMDs) and had an area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) of 87% with a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 70% and accuracy of 75%. A multivariable LR model combining QNG signature with clinical and pathological variables yielded an AUC-ROC of 88% and a sensitivity of 81%, specificity of 78% and accuracy of 79%. A LR model using prostate volume, PSA density, and number of pre-diagnosis biopsies resulted in an AUC-ROC of 68% and a sensitivity of 85%, specificity of 37% and accuracy of 56%.

QNG using EM prostate biopsies improves the predictive accuracy of LR models based on traditional clinicopathologic variables in determining which patients will ultimately develop an unfavorable biopsy. Our QNG-based model must be rigorously, prospectively validated prior to use in the clinical arena.

  • Carter HB
  • Epstein JI
  • Landis P
  • Makarov DV
  • Marlow C
  • Miller MC
  • Partin AW
  • Veltri RW
PubMed ID
Appears In
Prostate, 2008, 68 (2)