An Accurate, Straightforward Method to Predict Prostate Cancer Risk

By Nancy Chan, UCSF News Services | November 15, 2006

A novel method for predicting the risk of prostate cancer recurrence following surgery that was developed by urologists at UCSF Medical Center has been validated in a recent study.

The new method is named the UCSF Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment (CAPRA). It is a risk stratification index that produces an easily-calculated score from 0 to 10 to predict the likelihood that men will experience a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence after surgery. Other existing risk-prediction tools, while offering comparable accuracy, have limitations, according to Matthew Cooperberg, MD, MPH, senior resident in urology at UCSF and lead author of the study.

"The accuracy and simplicity of this index will likely be of significant benefit for prostate cancer research and clinical practice," said Cooperberg. "The goal was to devise a scoring system that would perform as well as the best available instruments for prediction of biochemical recurrence after prostate surgery, yet would be easier to calculate." The multi-institutional study appears in the November 15, 2006 issue of Cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the United States with more than 230,000 new cases diagnosed annually. It is the third leading cause of cancer deaths among men after lung and colorectal cancer.

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