New Screening: MRI Scans to discover prostate cancer earlier and more accurately

MRI instead of PSA

A new method for the diagnosis of prostate cancer is tested. The promising Test could be suitable as an improved Screening program for the early detection of carcinomas in the prostate. A ten-minute magnetic resonance imaging Scan (MRI) may soon replace the unreliable current PSA Test for early detection.

A research group at the University College London (UCL) are currently tested in a large study, whether an MRI Scan is suitable for a country-wide Screening of prostate cancer. The new diagnostic method showed promising results and may soon replace the PSA Test, which has a high error rate. If the so-called “ReIMAGINE-Trial” shows positive results, is to be introduced in England, the MRI Scan as a Screening method.

The early detection of prostate cancer is in urgent need of optimization

Every eighth man becomes ill in the course of life of prostate cancer. The risk increases with age. Approximately three percent of all men die from it. The current methods for the identification of lethal prostate cancers are not optimal. “Nowhere else in modern medicine is the error related to misdiagnosis, Überbehandlungen and poor risk assessment is more extreme than in the detection of prostate cancer,” write the doctors of the UCL. Many of the current treatments were not helpful or could even cause damage.

What is the new MRI Scan can?

In the new diagnostic method, the latest findings on the molecular alterations of tumors are combined with state of the art imaging. This allows the prediction of a possible development of prostate cancer. In addition, the risk can be estimated, if an existing prostate cancer will progress over time or not. The new method could also make up the majority of biopsies (Tissue samples) unnecessarily, in some cases, more harm than good.

Promising Results

So far, the Scan has only been tested in persons in whom before the PSA Test too. It showed that the Scan vulnerable men identified twice as good as the Standard prostate biopsy. In addition, the MRI Scan missed so far, no potentially fatal disease. Thus, the new method could lead to significantly more security in the diagnosis.

Big study will test the Suitability of

In the next major investigation is now 1000 men with an elevated result for the PSA Test by the new MRI-Scan. A further 300 men between the ages of 50 and 75 years should also be tested, without a PSA Test was performed. “We know that the MRI works in men with an elevated PSA blood test well”, reported the Deputy head of the study Professor Caroline Moore in a press release. Now must be evaluated whether MRI is a useful Test for Screening in the General population.

Current methods have proven to be not effective

“Earlier Screening methods on the Basis of PSA blood tests and traditional biopsies have proved to be not effective enough,” emphasizes the Professor. Approximately 75 percent of the men, the Test increased the values to show in the PSA, will later be diagnosed with no cancer, and 15 percent of men the prostate will overlook cancer just. If the non-invasive Test cancer earlier and more reliably recognize, this would help increase the survival rates to improve of prostate cancer, conclude the researchers. (vb)

More on the topic, see the articles “prostate cancer: PSA screening tests do more harm than good” and “These are the 10 most important symptoms of prostate cancer”.