Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in men worldwide, largely as a result of the increased use of the annual serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test for detection. PSA screening has saved lives, but it has also resulted in the overtreatment of many patients with PCa because of a limited ability to accurately localize and characterize PCa lesions through imaging. High-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS) 1H MRS has proven to be a strong potential clinical tool for PCa diagnosis and prognosis. The HRMAS technique allows valuable metabolic information to be obtained from ex vivo intact tissue samples and also enables the performance of histopathology on the same tissue specimens. Studies have found that the quantification of individual metabolite levels and metabolite ratios, as well as metabolomic profiles, shows strong potential to improve accuracy in PCa detection, diagnosis and monitoring. Ex vivo HRMAS is also a valuable tool for the interpretation of in vivo results, including the localization of tumors, and thus has the potential to improve in vivo diagnostic tests used in the clinic. Here, we primarily review publications of HRMAS 1H MRS and its use for the study of intact human prostate tissue. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.