New ‘cutting-edge’ technology aiming to reduce prostate cancer diagnosis times from six weeks to a day is being trialled in west London and north Surrey.

Queen Mary’s Hospital, in Wandsworth’s Roehampton Lane, and Epsom Hospital, in Dorking Road, will pilot the ‘one-stop shop’ method for detecting the disease in men.

Patients will now have a scan, get their results, and undergo a new biopsy using fusion technology all in one day, as opposed to several appointments across six weeks.

Professor Hashim Ahmed, the new chairman of NHS England’s clinical expert group for prostate cancer, said: “The NHS is now leading the way in ensuring all men get to benefit from this innovation. Fast access to a high-quality prostate MRI allows many men to avoid invasive biopsies, as well as allowing precision biopsy in those men requiring it to find high-risk tumours much earlier.”

“The NHS has led the research that underpins this rapid pathway to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer.”

With the new technique a detailed multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) scan is used which should provide enhanced imagery, enabling between a third and 40 percent of patients find out their results on the same day.

If a biopsy is needed then the new fusion technology will overlay the ultrasound images with 3D MRI scans and illustrate a map of prostate cancer which can be used to target potential areas for obtaining tissue samples.

St George’s Hospitals NHS Trust, one of the three sites involved, is using ‘state-of-the-art’ robotic surgery to treat prostate cancer which means patients won't be referred elsewhere after undergoing treatment from diagnostics to surgery.

Hasan Qazi, consultant urologist surgeon and project lead at St George’s, said: “We are very driven to diagnose our patients and treat them appropriately and effectively.

“The rapid project for prostate cancer enables men to be diagnosed early, reduces the number of invasive biopsies, which in turn should translate into better outcomes for patients.

“We’re really proud to be part of this pilot and it reflects our efforts across the trust to deliver state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment for our patients.”

St George’s Hospitals, Epsom and St Helier, and Imperial Healthcare NHS Trusts are the three trialling the new scheme, with Charing Cross Hospital also involved.