The Imperial College Hospital Rapid Pathway
If you have received a red result you will also find details of the RAPID trial at Imperial College London Hospital
enabling you to be referred to Professor Ahmed and his team within 2 weeks following a referral from your GP.
Under this trial you will be invited to London where a Prostagram (MRI scan of the prostate) will be carried out
and then if anything untoward shows up you will be offered a biopsy
The results of the tests and a treatment plan will be recommended and it will be communicated to your GP.
Whilst it may be a long day you’ll have the peace of mind of hopefully knowing where you stand at the end of the day.
Screening for Prostate Cancer (PCa) has until now relied upon the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. Although
screening trials have confirmed that regular PSA testing can halve PCa mortality, the UK National Screening Committee
still does not recommend it for mass screening. Consequently, research continues into enhancing PSA testing and
One such – the Prostagram – utilises a rapid, simpler form of prostate MRI scan, equivalent to
a mammogram in breast cancer screening. Studies at Imperial College, London, have already demonstrated that
the Prostagram can accurately detect PCa when screening asymptomatic men (JAMA Oncol. 2/11/21.
doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.7456). Confirmation of MRI‐suspected PCa requires a “biopsy” – tissue sampling from
The Imperial College “RAPID” pathway now provides a “one‐stop” scan and, where necessary, a biopsy
all on the same day. Men with an abnormal PSA have already benefitted from this facility through subsequent NHS
referral via their GP.
The advantages of the “RAPID” pathway include:
• All diagnostic tests completed within 10‐14 days of GP referral.
• Usually only one visit required (due to the pandemic this cannot always be possible).
• Men with low or no cancer risk informed on the same day.
• Men with benign, non‐cancerous prostate diseases referred back to the GP with treatment advice.
• Men with PCa moved rapidly to treatment.
Patient experience of this new pathway has been extremely good and there is capacity within the system to continue
its many advantages.
There are three further advantages:
• We are expanding this work with other cancer alliances across the country.
• Imperial College are establishing a register of men at risk of prostatic disease (called RAPIDOnline), both
benign and cancer, to provide fast, accurate diagnosis with access to intelligent, personalised treatment
options at the forefront of innovation.
• Enrolment in studies and trials of innovative tests or treatments for men who are eligible and so wish.
The objective of our PCa Screening Programme is to identify men who already have PCa and those who are most at
risk of developing PCa in the future. We are therefore delighted to have this link with Imperial College and will be
able to provide more specific information to individual men who may benefit whenever appropriate.
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