A Prospective Adaptive Utility Trial to Validate Performance of a Novel Urine Exosome Gene Expression Assay to Predict High-grade Prostate Cancer in Patients with Prostate-specific Antigen 2–10 ng/ml at Initial Biopsy

James McKiernan, Michael J. Donovan, Eric Margolis, Alan Wayne Partin, H Ballentine Carter, Gordon Brown, Philipp Torkler, Mikkel Noerholm, Johan Skog, Neal Shore, Gerry Andriole, Ian Thompson, Peter Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Discriminating indolent from clinically significant prostate cancer (PCa) in the initial biopsy setting remains an important issue. Prospectively evaluated diagnostic assays are necessary to ensure efficacy and clinical adoption. Objective: Performance and utility assessment of ExoDx Prostate (IntelliScore) (EPI) urine exosome gene expression assay versus standard clinical parameters for discriminating Grade Group (GG) ≥2 PCa from GG1 PCa and benign disease on initial biopsy. Design, setting, and participants: A two-phase adaptive clinical utility study (NCT03031418) comparing EPI results with biopsy outcomes in men, with age ≥50 yr and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) 2–10 ng/ml, scheduled for initial prostate biopsy. After EPI performance assessment during phase I, a clinical implementation document (ie, CarePath) was developed for utilizing the EPI test in phase II, where the biopsy decision is uncertain. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Performance evaluation of the EPI test in patients enrolled in phase I and publication of a consensus CarePath for phase II. Results and limitations: In a total of 503 patients, with median age of 64 yr, median PSA 5.4 ng/ml, 14% African American, 70% Caucasian, 53% positive biopsy rate (22% GG1, 17% GG2, and 15% ≥ GG3), EPI was superior to an optimized model of standard clinical parameters with an area under the curve (AUC) 0.70 versus 0.62, respectively, comparable with previously published results (n = 519 patients, EPI AUC 0.71). Validated cut-point 15.6 would avoid 26% of unnecessary prostate biopsies and 20% of total biopsies, with negative predictive value (NPV) 89% and missing 7% of ≥GG2 PCa. Alternative cut-point 20 would avoid 40% of unnecessary biopsies and 31% of total biopsies, with NPV 89% and missing 11% of ≥GG2 PCa. The clinical investigators reached consensus recommending use of the 15.6 cut-point for phase II. Outcome of the decision impact cohort in phase II will be reported separately. Conclusions: EPI is a noninvasive, easy-to-use, gene expression urine assay, which has now been successfully validated in over 1000 patients across two prospective validation trials to stratify risk of ≥GG2 from GG1 cancer and benign disease. The test improves identification of patients with higher grade disease and would reduce the total number of unnecessary biopsies. Patient summary: It is challenging to predict which men are likely to have high-grade prostate cancer (PCa) at initial biopsy with prostate-specific antigen 2–10 ng/ml. This study further demonstrates that the ExoDx Prostate (IntelliScore) test can predict ≥GG2 PCa at initial biopsy and defer unnecessary biopsies better than existing risk calculator's and standard clinical data. ExoDx Prostate (IntelliScore) is a urine-based test that relies solely on a three-gene signature to predict high-grade prostate cancer at initial biopsy for men with prostate-specific antigen 2–10 ng/ml. The test has been prospectively validated on over 1000 men from two multisite trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Urology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Exosomes
  • Extended validation study
  • High grade prostate cancer
  • Initial biopsy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Risk assessment tools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Cite this