Clinical Trial Protocol: Developing an Image Classification Algorithm for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis on Three-dimensional Multiparametric Transrectal Ultrasound

Auke Jager, Arnoud W. Postema, Massimo Mischi, Hessel Wijkstra, Harrie P. Beerlage, Jorg R. Oddens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and hypothesis: The tendency toward population-based screening programs for prostate cancer (PCa) is expected to increase demand for prebiopsy imaging. This study hypothesizes that a machine learning image classification algorithm for three-dimensional multiparametric transrectal prostate ultrasound (3D mpUS) can detect PCa accurately. Design: This is a phase 2 prospective multicenter diagnostic accuracy study. A total of 715 patients will be included in a period of approximately 2 yr. Patients are eligible in case of suspected PCa for which prostate biopsy is indicated or in case of biopsy-proven PCa for which radical prostatectomy (RP) will be performed. Exclusion criteria are prior treatment for PCa or contraindications for ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs). Protocol overview: Study participants will undergo 3D mpUS, consisting of 3D grayscale, 4D contrast-enhanced ultrasound, and 3D shear wave elastography (SWE). Whole-mount RP histopathology will provide the ground truth to train the image classification algorithm. Patients included prior to prostate biopsy will be used for subsequent preliminary validation. There is a small, anticipated risk for participants associated with the administration of a UCA. Informed consent has to be given prior to study participation, and (serious) adverse events will be reported. Statistical analysis: The primary outcome will be the diagnostic performance of the algorithm for detecting clinically significant PCa (csPCa) on a per-voxel and a per-microregion level. Diagnostic performance will be reported as the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Clinically significant PCa is defined as the International Society of Urological grade group ?2. Full-mount RP histopathology will be used as the reference standard. Secondary outcomes will be sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value, and positive predictive value for csPCa on a per-patient level, evaluated in patients included prior to prostate biopsy, using biopsy results as the reference standard. A further analysis will be performed on the ability of the algorithm to differentiate between low-, intermediate-, and high-risk tumors. Discussion and summary: This study aims to develop an ultrasound-based imaging modality for PCa detection. Subsequent head-to-head validation trials with magnetic resonance imaging have to be performed in order to determine its role in clinical practice for risk stratification in patients suspected for PCa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean urology open science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasound
  • Elastography
  • Machine learning
  • Multiparametric ultrasound
  • Prostate cancer

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