A new pilot high-speed path to treatment for prostate cancer that can significantly cut diagnosis time was presented at the European Association of Urology Conference in Copenhagen last week by Professor Hashim Ahmed, Chair of Urology at Imperial College London.
The procedure can cut waiting time for detection in the UK from an average 56 days to 17 days after referral from GP. As the difference between early and late detection of the disease is a matter of life and death, this new rapid procedure could save many lives if rolled out by the NHS across the country in the 2020s, following clinical trials.
The new world-leading (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure, is completed in one day rather than several. It was successfully piloted at London’s Imperial College Charing Cross Hospital and Epsom Hospital last year. Some 4 in 10 patients are cleared immediately after their MRI scan and the rest have a precision biopsy using fusion technology later that same day.
“Fast access to high quality prostate MRI allows many men to avoid invasive biopsies as well as allowing precision biopsy in those men requiring it to find high risk tumour much earlier,”
states Professor Ahmed.
Prostate cancer is now the second biggest killer for men after lung cancer. It kills over 10,000 men in UK, 28,000 in USA and 4,000 in Canada each year.