A Neurocomputational Model for Prostate Carcinoma Detection

Pankaj Kalra, Joanna Togami, Gaurav Bansal, Alan W. Partin, Michael K. Brawer, Richard J. Babaian, Lawrence S. Ross, Craig S. Niederberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Current guidelines for prostate carcinoma screening rely primarily on the digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA). Well described patient risk factors for prostate carcinoma also include age, ethnicity, family history, and complexed PSA. However, due to the nonlinear relation of each of these variables with prostate carcinoma, it is difficult to predict reliably each patient's risk based on linear univariate analysis. The authors investigated a neural network to model the risk of prostate carcinoma by seven readily available clinical features. METHODS. The database for the current study comprised 3268 men recently evaluated for the early detection of prostate carcinoma. The seven clinical features evaluated included age, race, family history, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), DRE, and total and complexed PSA. Three hundred forty-eight subjects in the dataset included men with determined prostate biopsy outcomes and for whom at least 6 of 7 features were available. The dataset was divided randomly into a training set (60%) and a test set (40%), with n1/n2 cross-validation used to evaluate model accuracy, and was modeled with linear and quadratic discriminant function analysis and a neural computational system. After a model with acceptable goodness of fit was achieved, reverse regression analysis using Wilks's generalized likelihood ratio test was performed to evaluate the statistical significance of each input variable. RESULTS. The receiving operating characteristic (ROC) area for the neural computational system in the test set was 0.825, whereas total PSA and complexed PSA alone had ROC areas of 0.678 and 0.697, respectively. The ROC area of logistic regression in the test set was 0.510, linear discriminant function analysis was 0.674, and quadratic discriminant function analysis was 0.011. All were significantly less than the ROC area of the neural computational model (all Ps < 0.002). Reverse regression based on Wilks's generalized likelihood ratio test demonstrated each input feature to be highly significant to the model (all Ps ≪ 0.000001). CONCLUSIONS. The authors modeled a combination of well described patient risk factors for prostate carcinoma using a neural computational system with acceptable goodness of fit. They demonstrated that each of the seven variates on which the model was based was critically significant to model performance. The authors presented this model for clinical use and suggested that clinicians use it in deciding to perform prostate biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1854
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003


  • Detection
  • Neural network
  • Neurocomputer
  • Prostate carcinoma screening
  • Prostate specific antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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