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Original Investigation
February 4, 2021

Comparison of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Targeted Biopsy With Systematic Transrectal Ultrasonography Biopsy for Biopsy-Naive Men at Risk for Prostate Cancer: A Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Urology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 4Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 5Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada
  • 6Universite de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  • 7Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 8Body and VIR Radiology Department, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hospital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France
  • 9University College London, London, England
  • 10Institute of Healthcare Policy and Management, Department of Radiation Oncology, Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 11Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 12Department of Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 13Toronto General Hospital, Department of Radiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(4):534-542. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.7589
Key Points

Question  Is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with targeted biopsy only noninferior to systematic biopsy for the diagnosis of clinically significant prostate cancer (PCa)?

Findings  In this prospective phase 3 randomized clinical trial of 453 men, clinically significant cancer was found in 35% vs 30% in the MRI and systematic biopsy arms, respectively, which demonstrated noninferiority. A total of 79 participants in the MRI arm (37%) avoided a biopsy, and diagnosis of grade group 1 PCa was reduced by more than 50%.

Meaning  Magnetic resonance imaging with targeted biopsy alone resulted in similar detection rates of clinically significant PCa while avoiding biopsy in more than one-third of men and reducing the diagnosis of clinically insignificant cancer.


Importance  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with targeted biopsy is an appealing alternative to systematic 12-core transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) biopsy for prostate cancer diagnosis, but has yet to be widely adopted.

Objective  To determine whether MRI with only targeted biopsy was noninferior to systematic TRUS biopsies in the detection of International Society of Urological Pathology grade group (GG) 2 or greater prostate cancer.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This multicenter, prospective randomized clinical trial was conducted in 5 Canadian academic health sciences centers between January 2017 and November 2019, and data were analyzed between January and March 2020. Participants included biopsy-naive men with a clinical suspicion of prostate cancer who were advised to undergo a prostate biopsy. Clinical suspicion was defined as a 5% or greater chance of GG2 or greater prostate cancer using the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial Risk Calculator, version 2. Additional criteria were serum prostate-specific antigen levels of 20 ng/mL or less (to convert to micrograms per liter, multiply by 1) and no contraindication to MRI.

Interventions  Magnetic resonance imaging–targeted biopsy (MRI-TB) only if a lesion with a Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS), v 2.0, score of 3 or greater was identified vs 12-core systematic TRUS biopsy.

Main Outcome and Measures  The proportion of men with a diagnosis of GG2 or greater cancer. Secondary outcomes included the proportion who received a diagnosis of GG1 prostate cancer; GG3 or greater cancer; no significant cancer but subsequent positive MRI results and/or GG2 or greater cancer detected on a repeated biopsy by 2 years; and adverse events.

Results  The intention-to-treat population comprised 453 patients (367 [81.0%] White, 19 [4.2%] African Canadian, 32 [7.1%] Asian, and 10 [2.2%] Hispanic) who were randomized to undergo TRUS biopsy (226 [49.9%]) or MRI-TB (227 [51.1%]), of which 421 (93.0%) were evaluable per protocol. A lesion with a PI-RADS score of 3 or greater was detected in 138 of 221 men (62.4%) who underwent MRI, with 26 (12.1%), 82 (38.1%), and 30 (14.0%) having maximum PI-RADS scores of 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Eighty-three of 221 men who underwent MRI-TB (37%) had a negative MRI result and avoided biopsy. Cancers GG2 and greater were identified in 67 of 225 men (30%) who underwent TRUS biopsy vs 79 of 227 (35%) allocated to MRI-TB (absolute difference, 5%, 97.5% 1-sided CI, −3.4% to ∞; noninferiority margin, −5%). Adverse events were less common in the MRI-TB arm. Grade group 1 cancer detection was reduced by more than half in the MRI arm (from 22% to 10%; risk difference, −11.6%; 95% CI, −18.2% to −4.9%).

Conclusions and Relevance  Magnetic resonance imaging followed by selected targeted biopsy is noninferior to initial systematic biopsy in men at risk for prostate cancer in detecting GG2 or greater cancers.

Trial Registration  ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02936258

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