This review discusses evidence for population-based screening with contemporary screening tools. In Europe, prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening led to a relative reduction of prostate cancer (PCa) mortality, but also to a substantial amount of overdiagnosis and unnecessarily biopsies. Risk stratification based on a single variable (a clinical variable or based on the presence of a lesion on prostate imaging) or based on multivariable approaches can aid in reducing unnecessary prostate biopsies and overdiagnosis by selecting men who can benefit from further clinical assessment. Multivariable approaches include clinical variables, and biomarkers, often combined in risk calculators or nomograms. These risk calculators can also incorporate the result of MRI imaging. In general, as compared to a purely PSA based approach, the combination of relevant prebiopsy information results in superior selection of men at higher risk of harboring clinically significant prostate cancer. Currently, it is not possible to draw any conclusions on the superiority of these multivariable risk-based approaches since head-to-head comparisons are virtually lacking. Recently initiated large population-based screening studies in Finland, Germany and Sweden, incorporating various multivariable risk stratification approaches will hopefully give more insight in whether the harm-benefit ratio can be improved, that is, maintain (or improving) the ability to reduce metastatic disease and prostate cancer mortality while reducing harm caused by unnecessary testing and overdiagnosis including related overtreatment.

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International Journal of Cancer
Department of Urology

Remmers, S, & Roobol-Bouts, M.J. (2020). Personalized strategies in population screening for prostate cancer. International Journal of Cancer. doi:10.1002/ijc.33045