A non-invasive MRI diagnostic method for prostate cancer has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The scanning technique will help identify potentially cancerous lesions and prevent unnecessary prostate biopsies.
Approximately 130 new prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in the UK every day and in 2016 alone, 11,631 people died from the disease. Advances in imaging technology have already led to changes in current practice across the country following the need for better diagnostic tools.
In draft guidance published today, NICE has recommended multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) as a first line investigation for people with suspected clinically localised prostate cancer.
The cutting edge technology can produce a detailed image of the prostate which can help specialists decide whether a biopsy is needed.
For those with low-risk cancer, this type of imaging can prevent unnecessary biopsies which can be unpleasant and have a risk of infection.
The scan has also been recommended as an option for people who have active surveillance to monitor the cancer.
Multiparametric MRI is clinically cost-effective as it will reduce the number of biopsies performed. Additionally, cancers are more likely to be detected and identified earlier therefore reducing the need for further treatment.
Health economic evidence shows that MRI-influenced prostate biopsy may be more cost effective than systematic prostate biopsy as it takes less time and is more efficient in identifying clinically significant cancer.
Paul Chrisp, Director for the NICE Centre for Guidelines said: “This diagnostic pathway will hopefully improve survival, reduce unnecessary surgery and benefit both patients and the NHS in the long term.
“We are pleased to announce that we will be recommending multiparametric MRI for patients with prostate cancer. This diagnostic method aims to improve survival, reduce unnecessary biopsies and benefit both patients and the NHS in the long term.”