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BJU Int. 2007 Apr;99(4):794-800.

A critical appraisal of logistic regression-based nomograms, artificial neural networks, classification and regression-tree models, look-up tables and risk-group stratification models for prostate cancer.

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Cancer Prognostics and Health Outcomes Unit, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To evaluate several methods of predicting prostate cancer-related outcomes, i.e. nomograms, look-up tables, artificial neural networks (ANN), classification and regression tree (CART) analyses and risk-group stratification (RGS) models, all of which represent valid alternatives.


We present four direct comparisons, where a nomogram was compared to either an ANN, a look-up table, a CART model or a RGS model. In all comparisons we assessed the predictive accuracy and performance characteristics of both models.


Nomograms have several advantages over ANN, look-up tables, CART and RGS models, the most fundamental being a higher predictive accuracy and better performance characteristics.


These results suggest that nomograms are more accurate and have better performance characteristics than their alternatives. However, ANN, look-up tables, CART analyses and RGS models all rely on methodologically sound and valid alternatives, which should not be abandoned.

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