Spectral modelling and model fitting were compared for quantitative T2 mapping of the prostate. 32-echo data were acquired from 11 patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer at 3T. There was excellent correlation between the two approaches for estimates of T2-short, T2-long and luminal water fraction (r=0.96, 0.71, 0.94 respectively). Luminal water fractions were significantly higher in normal peripheral and transition zones using the model fitting approach (P = 0.04 and <0.01 respectively), but were comparable in tumor. The larger quantitative difference between tumour and normal tissue could mean model fitting is superior for qualitative assessment in prostate cancer.