Incorporating artificial intelligence in urology: Supervised machine learning algorithms demonstrate comparative advantage over nomograms in predicting biochemical recurrence after prostatectomy.

After radical prostatectomy (RP), one-third of patients will experience biochemical recurrence (BCR), which is associated with subsequent metastasis and cancer-specific mortality. We employed machine learning (ML) algorithms to predict BCR after RP, and compare them with traditional regression models and nomograms.

Utilizing a prospective Uro-oncology registry, 18 clinicopathological parameters of 1130 consecutive patients who underwent RP (2009-2018) were recorded, yielding over 20,000 data points for analysis. The data set was split into a 70:30 ratio for training and validation. Three ML models: Naïve Bayes (NB), random forest (RF), and support vector machine (SVM) were studied, and compared with traditional regression models and nomograms (Kattan, CAPSURE, John Hopkins [JHH]) to predict BCR at 1, 3, and 5 years.

Over a median follow-up of 70.0 months, 176 (15.6%) developed BCR, at a median time of 16.0 months (interquartile range [IQR]: 11.0-26.0). Multivariate analyses demonstrated strongest association of BCR with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) (p: 0.015), positive surgical margins (p < 0.001), extraprostatic extension (p: 0.002), seminal vesicle invasion (p: 0.004), and grade group (p < 0.001). The 3 ML models demonstrated good prediction of BCR at 1, 3, and 5 years, with the area under curves (AUC) of NB at 0.894, 0.876, and 0.894, RF at 0.846, 0.875, and 0.888, and SVM at 0.835, 0.850, and 0.855, respectively. All models demonstrated (1) robust accuracy (>0.82), (2) good calibration with minimal overfitting, (3) longitudinal consistency across the three time points, and (4) inter-model validity. The ML models were comparable to traditional regression analyses (AUC: 0.797, 0.848, and 0.862) and outperformed the three nomograms: Kattan (AUC: 0.815, 0.798, and 0.799), JHH (AUC: 0.820, 0.757, and 0.750) and CAPSURE nomograms (AUC: 0.706, 0.720, and 0.749) (p < 0.001).

Supervised ML algorithms can deliver accurate performances and outperform nomograms in predicting BCR after RP. This may facilitate tailored care provisions by identifying high-risk patients who will benefit from multimodal therapy.

The Prostate. 2021 Dec 02 [Epub ahead of print]

Yu Guang Tan, Andrew H S Fang, Jay K S Lim, Farhan Khalid, Kenneth Chen, Henry S S Ho, John S P Yuen, Hong Hong Huang, Kae Jack Tay

Department of Urology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore., Singhealth Polyclinics, Singapore, Singapore.

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