Role of mpMRI of the prostate in screening for prostate cancer

Christopher J. D. Wallis, Masoom A. Haider, Robert K. Nam


Prostate cancer screening offers the opportunity to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality from this disease. Currently, serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing is the most widely used screening modality. However, PSA testing continues to have low positive and negative predictive value leading to unnecessary invasive prostate biopsy while missing patients with aggressive forms of the disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been gaining an increasingly large role in the management of patients with early stage prostate cancer including diagnosis in patients with abnormal PSA levels, monitoring of patients on active surveillance, and staging prior to definitive interventions. MRI-based prostate cancer risk assessment has been shown to better distinguish between clinically-significant and insignificant tumors than PSA testing alone or from nomograms. Preliminary data indicate that, among unselected patients, MRI outperforms PSA in the identification of patients with clinically significant prostate cancer. Further work is needed to examine the role of mpMRI in prostate cancer screening.