New ultrasound scan an effective alternative to prostate cancer MRI

March 9, 2022
New ultrasound scan an effective alternative to prostate cancer MRI

An ultrasound tool developed by scientists at Imperial College London detects incidences of prostate cancer with accuracy equal to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The multiparametric ultrasound (mpUSS) test uses a probe inserted into the rectum to image the prostate through a variety of ultrasound techniques to generate an image – it offers physicians an easier way to quickly test patients for clinically-significant prostate cancers.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, according to Professor Hashim Ahmed, Chair of Urology at Imperial College London. At least one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes, usually through a costly and time-consuming process e.g., rectal examinations, blood tests, and multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) scans.

Fortunately, the mpUSS test was seen to be almost as effective as an MRI in detecting clinically significant cases of prostate cancer. In a trial of several hundred men at risk of prostate cancer, mpUSS imaging detected 66 cases of clinically significant cancer compared to mpMRI imaging, which detected 77 cases; mpUSS imaging also detected other abnormalities in or surrounding the prostate, even though there was no cancer.

The researchers conclude mpUSS can be used alongside or as an alternative diagnostic tool to MRI. “Our study is the first to show that a special type of ultrasound scan can be used as a potential test to detect clinically significant cases of prostate cancer,” Professor Ahmed said. “We believe that this test can be used in low- and middle-income settings where access to expensive MRI equipment is difficult and cases of prostate cancer are growing.”

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Category: Education, Features

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