Which men benefit from prostate cancer screening? Prostate cancer mortality by subgroup in the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer

Niko Pasanen*, Kirsi Talala, Sebastiaan Remmers, Teuvo L. J. Tammela, Jonas Hugosson, Monique J. Roobol, Kimmo Taari, Rebecka Arnsrud Godtman, Chris Bangma, Anssi Auvinen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

ObjectiveTo evaluate whether a subgroup of men can be identified that would benefit more from screening than others.Materials and MethodsThis retrospective cohort study was based on three European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) centres, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. We identified 126 827 men aged 55-69 years in the study who were followed for maximum of 16 years after randomisation. The primary outcome was prostate cancer (PCa) mortality. We analysed three age groups 55-59, 60-64 and 65-69 years and PCa cases within four European Association of Urology (EAU) risk groups: low, intermediate, high risk, and advanced disease.ResultsThe hazard ratio (HR) for PCa mortality in the screening arm relative to the control arm for men aged 55-59 years was 0.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.75-1.24) in Finland, 0.70 (95% CI 0.44-1.12) in the Netherlands and 0.42 (95% CI 0.24-0.73) in Sweden. The HR for men aged 60-64 years was 1.03 (95% CI 0.77-1.37) in Finland, 0.76 (95% CI 0.50-1.16) in the Netherlands and 0.97 (95% CI 0.64-1.48) in Sweden. The HR for men aged 65-69 years was 0.80 (95% CI 0.62-1.03) in Finland and 0.57 (95% CI 0.38-0.83) in the Netherlands, and this age group was absent in Sweden. In the EAU risk group analysis, PCa mortality rates were materially lower for men with advanced disease at diagnosis in all three countries: 0.67 (95% CI 0.56-0.82) in Finland, 0.28 (95% CI 0.18-0.44) in the Netherlands, and 0.48 (95% CI 0.30-0.78) in Sweden.ConclusionWe were unable to unequivocally identify the optimal age group for screening, as mortality reduction differed among centres and age groups. Instead, the screening effect appears to depend on screening duration, and the number and frequency of screening rounds. PCa mortality reduction by screening is largely attributable to stage shift.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalBJU International
Volume134
Issue number2
Early online date9 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 May 2024

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© 2024 The Authors.BJU International published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of BJU International.

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