Information for the public

NICE has said that MRI fusion biopsy systems should not be routinely offered for diagnosing prostate cancer. More research is recommended.

If you have suspected prostate cancer, you may be offered a biopsy (removal of a small sample of body tissue). This is to help diagnose whether you do have cancer and, if so, to assess the risk category of the cancer. The biopsy is usually done using live ultrasound imaging with a separate MRI image to help guide where to take the biopsy sample (cognitive fusion). MRI fusion biopsy systems combine the MRI image with the live ultrasound image (MRI fusion) to help to accurately take samples during the biopsy. Using 1 of these systems could mean that fewer cases of prostate cancer are missed. It could also reduce the number of repeat biopsies compared with cognitive fusion biopsy methods. But the quality of the evidence is not high enough and there is not enough evidence about prostate cancer that has a higher risk category. There is also not much evidence comparing different MRI fusion biopsy systems with each other. So, it’s not clear which, if any, are better. This is why more research is recommended.

Information and support

The NHS webpage on prostate cancer may be a good place to find out more.

Prostate Cancer UK (0800 074 8383) can give you advice and support.

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-5208-3

This page was last updated: