Roswell Park Analysis: Risk Stratification Tool Accurately Predicts Prostate Cancer Progression

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Predicting when prostate cancer is aggressive enough to warrant immediate treatment can be a challenge. Researchers at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a particular prostate cancer nomogram accurately predicts the outcomes of prostate cancer patients and is a useful tool for informing treatment decisions. The findings have been published online ahead of print in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Researchers at Roswell Park compared the long-term outcomes of nearly 2,000 post-operative prostate cancer patients treated between 1993 and 2014 with the Kattan post-operative radical prostatectomy nomogram. The nomogram is a tool used to predict individual recurrence and mortality from prostate cancer. All of the Kattan nomogram predictions tracked closely with the actual outcomes of patients at five and 10 years after radical prostatectomy. In particular, the Kattan nomogram’s predictions for patients at 10 years after radical prostatectomy were within the 95% confidence interval of actual biochemical-free recurrence at 10 years.  

While the Kattan nomogram has been validated previously, this research offered a new assessment of the tool using modern, standardized clinical and pathologic definitions to compare actual outcomes with those predicted by the nomogram. This study showed that the Kattan nomogram is a robust predictor of the likelihood of biochemical failure and treatment failure.

“Patients need reliable information to help them decide whether to be treated for localized prostate cancer. Nomograms that predict outcomes accurately can help, but the usefulness of these tools must be tested in our patients,” says the senior author of the study, James Mohler, MD, Associate Director for Translational Research and Chair of the Department of Urology at Roswell Park. “This research validates the risk stratification measure as a valuable component of the decision-making process as clinicians recommend a patient’s treatment plan.”

“Clinical nomograms can be a helpful tool to clinicians to help identify patients most likely to experience poor outcomes,” adds the study’s first author, Rochelle Payne Ondracek, PhD, Research Associate in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park.

The study, “Validation of the Kattan Nomogram for Prostate Cancer Recurrence After Radical Prostatectomy,” is available at This research was supported, in part, by Roswell Park’s Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute (project no. P30CA016056).


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

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Deborah Pettibone, Public Information Specialist