NICE recommends mpMRI as front line test for prostate cancer

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today (12 December) recommended that multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) be used as a front line tool in English hospitals to scan for prostate cancer. 

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) supports NICE's draft guidelines that mpMRI be widely used to detect prostate cancer and help manage patient cases, however, we have stressed that more radiologists and newer scanners are needed to properly rollout the technique.   

RCR mpMRI lead Dr Philip Haslam said: 

“We fully support NICE’s recommendation that mpMRI be used as a front line test to diagnose prostate cancer, as well as being used as a monitoring tool.

“However, our ability to provide mpMRI for patients is hampered by a shortage of modern equipment and a crisis in radiologist staffing. We need more expert imaging doctors able to interpret these highly specific types of MRI scan.

“Patients deserve the best diagnosis technique available and demand for prostate mpMRI is rightly growing. Anecdotally we’ve heard of hospitals seeing demand for these scans tripling in a matter of months, but we also know there is wide geographical variation in availability.

“The RCR, along with Prostate Cancer UK and the British Society of Urogenital Imaging, are doing what we can to provide training in the technique, but to sustainably roll it out in every UK hospital in future we need Government funding for more new radiologists and the MRI scanners capable of doing these types of scan.”