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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Feb;35(2):123-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2008.07.013. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Partin Tables cannot accurately predict the pathological stage at radical prostatectomy.

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Cancer Prognostics and Health Outcomes Unit, University of Montreal Health Center (CHUM), Montréal, Québec, Canada.



The Partin Tables represent the most commonly used staging tool for radical prostatectomy (RP) candidates. The Partin Tables' predictions are used to guide the type (nerve preserving RP) and/or the extent (RP with wide resection) of RP. We examined the ability of the Partin Tables' predictions incorrectly assigning the stage at RP.


The testing of the Partin Tables (external validation) was based on 3105 patients treated with RP at a single European institution. Standard validation metrics were used (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, AUC) to test the three endpoints predicted by the Partin Tables, namely the presence of extracapsular extension (ECE), seminal vesicle invasion (SVI), and lymph node invasion (LNI).


Ideal predictions are denoted with 100% accuracy vs. 50% for entirely random predictions. For the 2001 version of the Tables the accuracy defined by the AUC was 79.7, 77.8, and 73.0 for ECE, SVI, and LNI, respectively. For the 2007 version of the Tables the corresponding accuracy estimates were 79.8, 80.5, and 76.2. The relationship between predicted probabilities and observed rates was poor.


The Partin Tables are meant to guide clinicians about the safety of nerve bundle preservation at RP, about the need for seminal vesicle resection or for lymphadenectomy. Therefore, the use of the Partin Tables predictions may significantly affect the type and/or the extent of RP. In their present format the Partin Tables are not accurate enough to influence the pre-operative decision making regarding the type or extent of RP.

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