What is the relevance MRI in prostate cancer? - Multiparametric MRI

Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) is a powerful new tool which is changing the landscape of prostate cancer. It provides greater accuracy for the following: Diagnosis

mpMRI has been shown to be very specific for prostate cancer, in the order of 90-95% accuracy. It has the ability to overcome the limitations of PSA monitoring and digital rectal examination (DRE).


Targeted mpMRI prostate biopsies have the potential to revolutionise prostate cancer diagnosis and management. By directly combining mpMRI and ultrasound imaging to produce a fusion image, the prostate cancer can be accurately localised. Real time biopsies can be taken with higher accuracy using this fusion image to guide the needle. Significant medical research demonstrates that mpMRI guided biopsies have higher detection rates, more accuracy at predicting aggressive cancers and lower complication rates.

Staging of prostate cancer

mpMRI allows more accurate definition of the exact boundaries of the prostate cancer which is invaluable in determining if the prostate cancer has spread beyond the confines of the capsule. This is critical in selecting the appropriate type of treatment.

Monitoring of prostate cancer

Patients with a low grade prostate cancer are often placed on active surveillance after an initial biopsy. mpMRI is providing a non-invasive option replacing the need for multiple regular biopsies.

Focal therapy

By more accurate sampling and localisation of the prostate, focal therapy (removal of the lesion without removing the entire prostate) will become a real option for prostate cancer patients. It is in its formative stages but will have an increasing role in the treatment of prostate cancer.