Developing imaging methods to better assess the spread of prostate cancer to other body sites

In a nutshell

Finding better ways to detect whether prostate cancer has spread to other sites in the body using advanced MRI imaging techniques.

Why we funded it

Prostate cancer that has spread to other sites in the body (metastasized) can be difficult to diagnose because very small amounts of cancerous cells are difficult to spot using our current imaging techniques. If we had more sensitive ways to detect prostate cancer spread then the appropriate treatment could be started as soon as possible.

This project will investigate whether an advanced MRI imaging technique called whole body MRI is more sensitive than our current imaging techniques. The researchers will directly compare their whole body MRI technique with the computed tomograph (CT) and bone scan that are currently used to detect metastatic prostate cancer.

Progress so far

This trial is currently open to recruitment. 156 patients have had their initial whole body MRI scan. Of these, 79 have also had their second whole body MRI scan and their participation in the study is now complete. The remaining 64 patients are gradually returning back for their second scans and it is expected that all scans will be complete by March 2018 after which a full analysis will be carried out and reported in late Autumn 2018.

Grant information

Institution - University College London
Researcher - Dr Shonit Punwani
Grant award - £334,254
Duration - 2014-2018
Reference - PG13-026 Punwani