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MRI scans could spare 25% of men from prostate biopsies

4:30pm Friday 20th January 2017 content supplied byNHS Choices

"Every man with suspected prostate cancer should have an MRI scan," The Guardian reports. That is the conclusion of a study looking at how well MRI scans compare with the current practice of biopsies; removing sections of prostate tissue for analysis.

Disadvantages of prostate biopsies include the fact that they can lead to a small risk of side effects, some of which can be serious, such as sepsis.

Researchers were looking at an advanced type of MRI scan, known as a multi-parametric MRI, which as well as looking at the shape and size of the prostate, can also assess other factors such as blood flow through the gland.

The scan was used on more than 500 British men. The results suggest that scanning would safely reduce the number of men needing a biopsy by about a quarter. Moreover, in men with an aggressive prostate cancer the combination of MRI scan followed by a biopsy is almost twice as likely to pick up clinically significant cancer.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently considering this new diagnostic method to decide whether introducing it will be cost-effective.

 

Summary

"Every man with suspected prostate cancer should have an MRI scan," The Guardian reports. That is the conclusion of a study looking at how well MRI scans compare with the current practice of biopsies; removing sections of prostate tissue for analysis...

Links to Headlines

'Huge leap' in prostate cancer testing. BBC News, January 20 2017

Give early scans to cut prostate cancer deaths: Major breakthrough in the way disease is diagnosed could save the lives of thousands of men. Daily Mail, January 20 2017

Prostate cancer could be ruled out with simple MRI scan which prevents 25,000 biopsies. The Daily Telegraph, January 19 2017

MRI twice as likely as biopsy to spot prostate cancer, research shows. The Guardian, January 20 2017

A quarter of men could avoid a painful - and needless - prostate cancer biopsy, study finds. Daily Mirror, January 19 2017

NHS orders urgent review after MRI scans found to be twice as good as biopsies at spotting prostate cancer. The Sun, January 20 2017

Links to Science

Ahmed HU, El-Shater Bosaily A, Brown LC, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of multi-parametric MRI and TRUS biopsy in prostate cancer (PROMIS): a paired validating confirmatory study. The Lancet. Published online January 19 2017

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