"Funding from a Prostate Cancer UK bursary means we can carry out a vital evaluation of our prostate biopsy service"

Our Bursary Schemes

The number of men with prostate cancer is increasing and by 2030 prostate cancer will be the most commonly diagnosed cancer. With lack of NHS funding for further education, it’s crucial health professionals have access to bursaries so they can continue to develop their knowledge to support the increasing numbers of men with prostate cancer.

Our bursary schemes support health professionals of all disciplines to develop their expertise in managing prostate disease. We know patients receive better care when they have access to specialist practitioners with the latest knowledge and skills.

Find out about our bursary schemes

Pamela Parker, Consultant Sonographer tells us about her experience of applying for a bursary and the impact that further education has had on providing the best treatment for patients at NHS Trust Hull University Teaching Hospitals.

 “Professional development is critical for delivering best practice patient care and underpins the four pillars of advanced practice that health professionals strive to achieve. My role at the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is to lead a team of sonographers working in diagnostic ultrasound imaging and perform trans-rectal prostate biopsies. Continued professional development is essential for the sonographers to ensure we can continue to deliver a diagnostic service.

“The prostate biopsy service in Hull was fortunate to have a new machine installed in 2015 which has fusion imaging capabilities. This allows the pre-biopsy MRI to be directly correlated, in real time, with the ultrasound imaging and therefore more accurately target the area of the biopsy. This has revolutionised how sonographers target specific areas of concern reported on the MRI scan. Although published trials had been successful, we weren’t clear if locally there had been an improvement in detecting significant prostate cancer.

“A robust academic study was needed to evaluate the service, as part of a thesis for one of the sonographers to complete during their Master’s degree. Sadly, funding from the NHS for post graduate education is limited so I applied for a Prostate Cancer UK bursary.

“Applying was simple; our service evaluation proposal formed the basis for the application, and it met the criteria. The application was processed swiftly and the fees for the Master’s thesis module were paid directly to the academic institution.

“The results of the evaluation showed the use of fusion guided imaging to carry out a targeted biopsy significantly increases the accuracy of the diagnosis.

“The study showed a target biopsy following mpMRI resulted in greater accuracy for detecting significant prostate cancer. It found that target biopsy has a true positive rate of 87%, compared to 75% with the previous standard biopsy technique. The study also found that random samples of the prostate, alongside the target site are required. We found 12.5% of participants of the study had clinically significant cancer diagnosed with random samples only. 

“We were only able to carry out this important study because of funding from Prostate Cancer UK.  The results have shown that our prostate biopsy service is providing the very best in patient care. To find out more contact the author of the study, trevor.parker@hey.nhs.uk or service lead pamela.parker@hey.nhs.uk .”

We’re proud to support health professionals who want to study prostate disease to provide men with the treatment and care they deserve.

Interested in furthering your education? Find out what’s on offer and apply now for 2020/21