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Genetic landscape of prostate cancer conspicuity on multiparametric MRI: a protocol for a systematic review and bioinformatic analysis
  1. Joseph M Norris1,
  2. Benjamin S Simpson1,
  3. Marina A Parry2,
  4. Clare Allen3,
  5. Rhys Ball4,
  6. Alex Freeman4,
  7. Daniel Kelly5,
  8. Alex Kirkham3,
  9. Veeru Kasivisvanathan1,
  10. Hayley C Whitaker1,
  11. Mark Emberton1
  1. 1UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Radiology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Pathology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  5. 5School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, UK
  1. Correspondence to Joseph M Norris; joseph.norris{at}


Introduction The introduction of multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) has enabled enhanced risk stratification for men at risk of prostate cancer, through accurate prebiopsy identification of clinically significant disease. However, approximately 10%–20% of significant prostate cancer may be missed on mpMRI. It appears that the genomic basis of lesion visibility or invisibility on mpMRI may have key implications for prognosis and treatment. Here, we describe a protocol for the first systematic review and novel bioinformatic analysis of the genomic basis of prostate cancer conspicuity on mpMRI.

Methods and analysis A systematic search of MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases will be conducted. Screening, data extraction, statistical analysis and reporting will be performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Included papers will be full text articles, written between January 1980 and December 2019, comparing molecular characteristics of mpMRI-visible lesions and mpMRI-invisible lesions at the DNA, DNA-methylation, RNA or protein level. Study bias and quality will be assessed using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa score. Additionally, we will conduct a novel bioinformatic analysis of supplementary material and publicly available data, to combine transcriptomic data and reveal common pathways highlighted across studies. To ensure methodological rigour, this protocol is written in accordance with the PRISMA Protocol 2015 checklist.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval will not be required, as this is an academic review of published literature. Findings will be disseminated through publications in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at national and international conferences.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42019147423.

  • prostate disease
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • cancer genetics
  • urological tumours

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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  • JMN and BSS are joint first authors.

  • Twitter @MrJosephNorris, @b3nsimp, @veerukasi

  • Contributors The authors’ contribution includes, but is not limited to, the following: JMN and BSS drafted the manuscript and created the study concept. MAP gave advice on genetic aspects. CA, RB, AK, AF, DK, VK, HCW and ME provided supervision and guidance during the study. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript in its current form.

  • Funding JMN is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) on an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship (MRC Grant Ref: MR/S00680X/1). BSS receives funding from the Rosetrees Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.