Daily Express

‘Superscan’ key to screening for prostate cancer

- By Hanna Geissler Health Reporter

A “SUPERSCAN” for prostate cancer could be used to launch a much-needed national screening programme, scientists will suggest today.

The 15-minute MRI scan uses magnetic waves with no radiation risk to produce a detailed image that can identify aggressive tumours.

The rapid new test, called a Prostagram, could unmask the disease earlier and with greater accuracy than the commonly used PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test, according to a 400-patient study.


Dr David Eldred-Evans, who pioneered the scan, said a larger study would be needed but the test appeared to be a safe and more accurate method of diagnosis.

One in eight men is diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and more than 12,000 UK sufferers died in 2017.

However, Britain does not have a national screening programme for the condition because no test has proven reliable enough. The test is a shorter version of the full 30-40 minute MRI scan for men referred to hospital with suspected prostate cancer.

Researcher­s gave 411 volunteers aged 50 to 69 a PSA and a Prostagram test.Any indication of cancer was followed by a prostate biopsy, which took samples of tissue to confirm the accuracy of the test.

The Prostagram test detected 65-82 per cent of cases correctly, compared with only 41 per cent caught by the PSA.

Senior study author Professor Hashim Ahmed, chair of urology at Imperial College London, said the game-changing scan could be the answer. He said: “By finding these aggressive cancers at the earliest opportunit­y, men have the opportunit­y to be offered less invasive treatments with fewer side effects.”

Dr Eldred-Evans added: “One of the key advantages is the scan can avoid the need for rectal examinatio­n, and may encourage more men to have a prostate health check.”

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