A new technique that employs advanced MRI scans to diagnose prostate cancer is being tested in a nationwide trial. Tim Dudderidge, a consultant urological surgeon based at Southampton General Hospital, one of the ten centers involved in the trial, has cited the shortcomings of the traditional biopsy procedure; men with a raised PSA are typically advised to have a biopsy, but the biopsy may either miss existing cancer or lead to unnecessary surgery in the case of slow-growing cancer.
Traditional technique uses an ultrasound probe to guide a needle through the rectal walls and into the prostate for sample extraction. The procedure is normally performed on a patient under local anesthetic. The new procedure under review uses cutting-edge image technology, multi parametric (MP) MRI, to create very accurate scans to help determine location, size, and aggressiveness of the prostate cancer.
If successful, the advanced MRI technique could eliminate or reduce the need for invasive biopsies in some men, and provide greater detail at an earlier stage for men with conditions that warrant treatment. The trial involves ten centers spread across the country, with the goal to recruit 700 individuals with prostate cancer by October 2015 for participation.
A new and more potentially more accurate technique to diagnose prostate cancer without the need for invasive biopsies is being tested in a nationwide trial.