Clinical staging of prostate cancer: reproducibility and clarification of issues.


Journal Article

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system for prostate cancer adopted in 1992 is based on tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) designations. It has been widely accepted for use in local and advanced disease. The purpose of this study was to assess reproducibility of staging among observers and to help clarify staging issues. Twelve prostate cancer cases were sent to 20 physicians with special expertise in prostate cancer including eight urologists, eight radiation oncologists, and four medical oncologists. Physicians were asked to assign a stage based on the 1992 AJCC clinical staging. The most frequently reported stage assigned to each case was taken to be the consensus. Agreement was the percentage of physicians who reported that particular stage. Seventy-five percent of the physicians responded. The overall agreement for assignment of T stage was 63.9%. Differences were found by specialty for inclusion of available information in designating a T stage. The overall agreement for N stage was 73.8%. The most common designation was Nx regardless of availability of a computed tomography scan. The overall agreement for M stage was 76.6%. Without a bone scan the most common designation was Mx regardless of Gleason grade or prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A frequent comment was that PSA was more indicative of disease extent than current clinical staging. The reproducibility of the 1992 clinical AJCC staging is poor even among experts in the field. This problem arises primarily from disagreement regarding which studies are included in assigning a stage. Some of these difficulties are addressed in the 1997 revision. However, the clinical staging does not address the true biological significance of disease in many instances.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Campbell, T; Blasko, J; Crawford, ED; Forman, J; Hanks, G; Kuban, D; Montie, J; Moul, J; Pollack, A; Raghavan, D; Ray, P; Roach, M; Steinberg, G; Stone, N; Thompson, I; Vogelzang, N; Vijayakumar, S

Published Date

  • June 20, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 96 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 198 - 209

PubMed ID

  • 11410889

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11410889

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-7136

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ijc.1017


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States