MRIs Can Reduce Prostate Biopsies, Improve Cancer Diagnosis Accuracy, Study Shows

MRIs Can Reduce Prostate Biopsies, Improve Cancer Diagnosis Accuracy, Study Shows
Using magnetic resonance imaging to identify possible prostate cancer tumors significantly reduces the need for invasive biopsies, a Phase 3 clinical trial showed. MRI also allows doctors to differentiate between cases of aggressive cancer that pose a grave threat and less virulent cases that do not to be treated, the European researchers reported. The study, “MRI-Targeted or Standard Biopsy for Prostate-Cancer Diagnosis,” appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine. The team also presented the results at the European Association of Urology Congress in Copenhagen, March 16-20. Prostate cancer diagnosis requires collecting small amounts of prostate tissue with a method called TRUS — for TRansrectal UltraSound guided prostate biopsy. This is an invasive procedure that is almost like an operation. It requires obtaining 10-12 samples by inserting a probe through the rectum under local anaesthetic. TRUS is also costly, may lead to infection, and theresults are not always accurate. The 11-country PRECISION trial (NCT02380027) looked at whether an MRI scan can decrease the need for a prostate biopsy or provide better information when a biopsy is required. Using the Gleason score to categorize tumor aggressiveness, the scientists assessed the proportion of men diagnosed with prostate cancer that poses a serious threat and the proportion with cases that do not pose a major threat.  The non-threatening category covered cases that would not benefi
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José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.

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