This technology is clearly a huge step forward, and could benefit men immensely. We can’t just leave things as they are. We want to get to a situation where men can access mpMRI wherever they are in the UK, and have the confidence that it is being done effectively.
That’s why we already started working on this, before the clinical trial results were even reported, so that when the PROMIS trial results are published and confirmed, we will be in a position to advise health services what needs to happen to make sure all men with, or at risk of, prostate cancer can benefit from mpMRI before biopsy.
We'll be testing our approach in England, as we think the Cancer Strategy for England has some in-roads that could help us lever men's access to mpMRI, and once we've understood what was successful, we'll begin working in the devolved nations to make sure men across the UK can benefit from a more effective diagnostic. We're already planning to discuss this at a meeting in Scotland in early July.
We’ve got the experts on board and are working closely with a group of radiologists who have an advanced understanding of the uses of mpMRI. We've surveyed all radiologists across the country and are following this up with a Freedom of Information request to find out what level of expertise there already is in this area, what type of MRI scanners are available, what training provision radiologists already have access to, and what other training they feel they need.
This will give us an idea of how the workforce looks now, and what needs to happen to get it where it needs to be if mpMRI is to be used more widely and effectively. We’ll also know where the right scanners are, but more importantly, we’ll know where they’re needed so we can start lobbying for them.
We’re also working on developing training and education courses with reputable expert organisations in the field, which we hope will ensure that patients receive a high quality diagnosis.
We're also exploring how we get quality control systems in place that make sure that newly trained radiologists, and the urologists they work with, are getting their scan interpretations right.
And of course, we’ll be interacting with NHS England and their counterparts in the devolved nations every step of the way to ensure they are aware of this potential step change in diagnosing a man with prostate cancer, and have it factored in to their plans.