What they want to find out
Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) is a newly developed type of imaging technology which can produce a more detailed picture of the prostate than a standard MRI scan. Following a series of studies, including one funded by us, it was shown that mpMRI could be used to spot aggressive prostate cancers and guide biopsies to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer. We’ve since campaigned for this technology to become widely available in the UK so more men can have access to improved technology for diagnosing prostate cancer.
But mpMRI still has a way to go. Professor Nabi and his team at the University of Dundee want to help this technology reach more men, across the UK and internationally. He also wants to test whether another imaging technique, called image-fusion guided biopsy could improve prostate cancer diagnosis. To do this, he’s running a randomised controlled clinical trial, a type of study that is known in the research community to produce the strongest evidence.
Professor Nabi and his team hope that the findings of their trial will add to the existing evidence for using mpMRI before biopsy, and using image-fusion to guide biopsy, to improve in prostate cancer for more men.
How they’re going about it
The project will involve two kinds of research study.
For the first study, the team will compare previously collected mpMRI data with analysis of prostates samples following a radical prostatectomy. This will tell the team how reliable mpMRI was at predicting which prostates were likely to develop prostate cancer and therefore needed surgically removing.
For the second study, the team will recruit men who are thought to be at risk of prostate cancer, and so require a biopsy of their prostate. All the men will undergo an mpMRI scan of their prostate, and if there is any sign of cancer, men will be randomly assigned to either to a routine prostate biopsy or an image-fusion guided biopsy. This will tell them whether the image-fusion technique can improve the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis.
Progress so far
The team have recruited half of the men they’re aiming to recruit. They’re starting to check the quality of the data they’ve collected so they can begin analysis on it.