Research set to revolutionise prostate cancer treatment
A pilot programme that uses high-definition magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans is reducing average prostate cancer diagnosis time to around 7-10 days after biopsy. .
The new process sees patients receiving a multi-parametric MRI scan and report, a clinical review and, if necessary, a targeted biopsy all on the same day. It is also more accurate, with studies suggesting that the new approach almost doubles the chance of finding important life-threatening prostate cancers.
The pilot project run by RM Partners, the Cancer Alliance for west London hosted by The Royal Marsden, is funded by the National Cancer Transformation. It is basedon ground-breaking research into the benefits of using MRI scans before biopsy for patients who have abnormal results from a PSA test – the blood test currently used by GPs to diagnose prostate problems.
The research shows up to a third of men who receive an MRI scan which indicates nothing suspicious could be safely discharged back to their GP without undergoing an invasive biopsy. Patients whose MRI was reported as ‘suspicious’ have targeted biopsies, usually on the same day, and within 7-10 days they see a specialist consultant to discuss the results.
Three NHS Trusts in west London are piloting this new model of care and they are working with Prostate Cancer UK and others to develop a set of standards for the new model.