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Targeted antibiotics may help protect against infections in men being tested for prostate cancer

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A new review indicates that antimicrobial therapy given before clinicians take transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsies to diagnose prostate cancer may lead to lower rates of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection.

The review, which included 9 studies in multiple countries, found that 27 men would need to receive targeted antibiotics to prevent one infective complication.

"In light of these findings we are planning to introduce rectal swabs and targeted antibiotic prophylaxis as a necessary preparation for transrectal prostate biopsy," said Tim Dudderidge, consultant urological surgeon at Southampton General Hospital and senior author of the BJU International review. "The only question is whether techniques involving multiparametric MRI of the prostate and targeted transperineal biopsy will make transrectal biopsy obsolete first."

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