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The PLCO trial confirmed diagnoses of prostate cancer through medical record abstraction (MRA) of men suspected by the trial to have prostate cancer. MRA was triggered by:

  • A self-report of prostate cancer on an Annual Study Update (ASU)
  • Abnormal suspicious PSA or DRE screening
  • Death certificate indicates prostate cancer
  • No trial indication of prostate cancer, but Death Review Committee suspects prostate cancer based on other indicators
  • Relative informs screening center of participant's cancer (this is infrequent)

Note that if the MRA process does not find records indicating prostate cancer diagnosis, even if a source such as a death certificate indicates prostate cancer, the prostate cancer is not considered confirmed.

Clinical stage is almost always available (99% of prostate cancers). Pathologic stage is only available for men who had a prostatectomy (36% of prostate cancers).

Gleason scores were collected from both biopsies (98%) and prostatectomies (36%) and assessed at pathology labs local to the screening center. Gleason information was only captured on a 2 to 10 scale; primary and secondary Gleason scores were not captured individually.

Cancer diagnosis data can be obtained within the Prostate dataset.

Summary Available Data
  • Data for ~8800 cancers (2100 screen-detected)
  • Intervention arm statistics:
    • ~4600 cancers
    • Median age at dx: 69
    • Median years into study at dx: 5.3
  • Control Arm Statistics:
    • ~4200 cancers
    • Median age at dx: 70
    • Median years into study at dx: 6.3
  • Cancer confirmation status (confirmation, report only, no cancer, etc.)
  • Days from randomization to diagnosis
  • Screen-detected versus not screen-detected
  • Staging: Clinical, Path, Combined
  • Gleason: Biopsy, Prostatectomy, Combined
  • PSA level closest to diagnosis
  • Histology