More research needed before value of pre-biopsy MRI scan understood

Men with suspected prostate cancer often undergo a biopsy to remove and examine tissue in an attempt to establish whether disease is present. We comment on early data released by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London which explores whether diagnosis is more accurate if patients undergo an MRI scan first. The MRI would examine the area, with the findings mapped via ultrasound, which could mean that tissues can be taken from precisely where a tumor is suspected.

Dr Kate Holmes, Head of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said: "Current methods for diagnosing prostate cancer can involve men receiving unnecessary biopsies, which carry a risk of infection. This early data suggests that giving men an MRI scan before a biopsy may put clinicians in a better position to tailor investigations and treatments further down the line. However further research is necessary before we will know the true value of this method and if it can lead to more successful outcomes and improved quality of life for men in the future."