AIM We evaluated a prostate biopsy strategy for cancer detection using a computer simulation system with virtual needle biopsy for three-dimensional (3D) prostate models. METHODS Two 3D prostate models with a volume of 25 cc or 50 cc were constructed from computed tomographic images of radical prostatectomy specimens. The peripheral zone (PZ) and transition zone (TZ) were arranged in the prostate models according to the anatomical information. Four thousand patterns of cancer lesions were automatically inserted into each prostate model with a proportion of 75% in PZ and 25% in TZ. Average hit rates (AHR) in prostate models were evaluated both with an increased number of biopsy cores and various angles of virtual needle biopsy. The influence of adding secondary tumors for hit rates was also evaluated. RESULTS For both sizes, the laterally angled biopsy in 4-8 core biopsy schemes showed higher AHR than the vertical plane biopsy, while the vertical plane biopsy in 10-18 core biopsy schemes showed higher AHR than the laterally angled biopsy. A higher number of biopsy cores increased the AHR of secondary tumors. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that it is important in prostate cancer detection to change the needle placement according to the number of biopsy cores and the size of the prostate.