Upright MRI for Prostate Cancer Screening

  • End date
    Aug 1, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Updated on 30 June 2021
prostate specific antigen
digital rectal exam
digital rectal examination
prostate cancer screening


This is an investigator initiated study to test the efficacy of an upright MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for the screening of prostate cancer. The purpose of this study is to compare Upright MRI as a technique to PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) and current MRI imaging. It will take place at Mount Sinai Hospital, and last for a total of about 5 years. Eligible patients will be determined by the urologist. The target population is men who are at risk for prostate cancer, as determined by the urologist. Diagnostic criteria will include elevated PSA and an abnormal digital rectal exam (DRE). After patients are screened and determined eligible, they will be asked to have a seated MRI using the Indomitable Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner, Ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging using 0.6 T strength, as well as a standard of care closed 3T MRI. After each scan, the patient will be given a series of questionnaires to assess their comfort level during the scan. Patients will be followed every 6 months after completion of (or early withdrawal from) study enrollment until 5 years.


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer among men in the United States, with over 180,000 new cases diagnosed in 2016. This commonality implies that set standards need to be set and devise effective tools to screen and diagnose prostate cancer. Today, prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is the most widely adopted screening method for PCa. Since its introduction in 1979, it has helped in earlier diagnosis of PCa and has had a marked shift on the stage at which PCa is identified. PSA, although popular as a screening tool, has several shortcomings. It is organ-specific rather than cancer-specific, which means that its values can be elevated even for non-malignant conditions . Indeed, PSA based screening has reported positive predictive value as low as 30% (PSA cutoff >4.0 ng/dL) for detecting prostate cancer and an over diagnosis rate of 50%, which leads to unnecessary biopsies and aggressive treatments of men with clinically indolent (insignificant) disease.

Current diagnostic pathway of prostate cancer requires men with elevated PSA and abnormal Digital Rectal exam to undergo a Trans Rectal Ultra Sound (TRUS) guided biopsy. TRUS is a blind-systematic biopsy, which randomly samples prostate tissue. This can lead to missing or under-diagnosing clinically significant cancer and over-diagnosing clinically insignificant disease. TRUS biopsy is itself associated with morbidity, mainly in the form of hematuria, hematospermia, pain, urinary retention and sometimes can cause life-threatening sepsis.

Many of the PSA screened detected prostate cancers detected on TRUS are clinically insignificant and even if left untreated have little to no clinical impact on an individual's remaining life. Overtreatment resulting from over diagnosis often leads to side effects like erectile dysfunction (approx. 60%) from radical therapy and urinary incontinence.

Condition Malignant neoplasm of prostate, Prostatic disorder, Prostate Disorders, Prostate Cancer, Early, Recurrent, Elevated PSA, Prostate Cancer, Elevated Prostate Specific Antigen, prostate carcinoma, prostate cancers
Treatment standard MRI, Upright MRI
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03474913
SponsorIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Last Modified on30 June 2021

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