400 volunteers took part in the study of a 15-minute ‘Prostagram’ treatment which was tested by doctors at Imperial College London used an MRI scanner to get fast results.
ACCORDING to researchers, the new 15-minute scan avoids the need for people to undergo sometimes painful and embarrassing rectal examinations. The prostagram treatment trialled by doctors at Imperial College London uses MRI, similar to breast cancer screening for women.
As well as taking the standard prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test the 400 volunteers aged between 50 and 69 were tested using the scanning method. The prostogram was found to be better at detecting aggressive cancers than PSA in the 4 per cent of volunteers who needed treatment.
Around 50,000 men in the UK are told they have the disease each year, and one in eight will be diagnosed in their lifetime. The development has been hailed as a “game-changer” by senior author, Professor Hashim Ahmed.
He said: “The number of aggressive prostate cancers missed by PSA highlights the importance of ramping up our research efforts into alternative ways to screen for prostate cancer.” Imperial College research fellow Dr David Eldred-Evans described the test as a “non-invasive, safe and more acceptable way to test men for prostate cancer.”
He added: “Unfortunately men can often be put off from seeking medical advice for prostate issues because they are worried about the need for a rectal examination.” He hopes the breakthrough “may encourage more men to have a prostate health check.”