Research Round-up – October 2019 – Dr Sam Merriel

Dr Milley talks to Dr Sam Merriel, a GP with research interests including cancer prevention, early diagnosis and preventive medicine in primary care. Dr Merriel recently co-authored a Systematic Review titled “Comparison of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Targeted Biopsy With Systematic Biopsy Alone for the Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”.

Dr Merriel talks about GPs using Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose clinically significant prostate cancer – and multi parametric MRI as a test that GPs could use in the future to rule out low-risk disease and avoid unnecessary biopsies. He discusses the challenges faced in this review, including the significant heterogeneity between studies, and the varying definitions of a clinically significant prostate cancer within the literature. Similarly, the diagnostic pathways that were utilised by GPs were diverse, and the stage at which MRI was incorporated also varied across studies. Quality of the MRIs, different versions of the machine, and the experience level of the radiologists also impacted the findings. Indeed, Dr Merriel found that over a third of the men who had an MRI before they had a biopsy could have actually avoided a biopsy safely.

Article

Elwenspoek MMC, Sheppard AL, McInnes MDF, et al. Comparison of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Targeted Biopsy With Systematic Biopsy Alone for the Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. Published online August 07, 20192(8):e198427. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8427

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