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Urology. 2003 Dec 29;62 Suppl 1:9-18.

Use of nomograms to predict the risk of disease recurrence after definitive local therapy for prostate cancer.

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Department of Urology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The generally indolent nature of prostate cancer, as well as the impact that treatment can have on quality of life (QOL) and cancer control, makes the decision analysis difficult for patients facing the task of selecting a treatment for clinically localized disease. Instruments to aid patients and their physicians in this decision analysis are needed. Nomograms are instruments that predict outcomes using specific clinical parameters. Nomograms use algorithms that incorporate several variables to calculate the predicted probability that a patient will achieve a particular clinical end point. Nomograms tend to outperform both clinical experts and predictive models using methods of risk grouping. We briefly outline the uses and limitations of nomograms, principles of nomogram construction, and the available models for predicting the progression-free probability after local definitive therapy with radical prostatectomy, external-beam radiotherapy, or brachytherapy. There is a need for additional nomograms that predict outcomes after salvage therapy, as well other clinical end points, including QOL-adjusted survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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