Objectives: Advances in multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) and ultrasound/MRI fusion imaging offer a powerful alternative to the typical undirected approach to diagnosing prostate cancer. However, these methods require the time and expertise needed to interpret mpMRI image scenes. In this paper, a machine learning framework for automatically detecting and localizing cancerous lesions within the prostate is developed and evaluated. Methods: Two studies were performed to gather MRI and pathology data. The 12 patients in the first study underwent an MRI session to obtain structural, diffusion-weighted, and dynamic contrast enhanced image vol- umes of the prostate, and regions suspected of being cancerous from the MRI data were manually contoured by radiologists. Whole-mount slices of the prostate were obtained for the patients in the second study, in addition to structural and diffusion-weighted MRI data, for pathology verification. A 3-D feature set for voxel-wise appear- ance description combining intensity data, textural operators, and zonal approximations was generated. Voxels in a test set were classified as normal or cancer using a decision forest-based model initialized using Gaussian discriminant analysis. A leave-one-patient-out cross-validation scheme was used to assess the predictions against the expert manual segmentations confirmed as cancer by biopsy. Results: We achieved an area under the average receiver-operator characteristic curve of 0.923 for the first study, and visual assessment of the probability maps showed 21 out of 22 tumors were identified while a high level of specificity was maintained. In addition to evaluating the model against related approaches, the effects of the individual MRI parameter types were explored, and pathological verification using whole-mount slices from the second study was performed. Conclusions: The results of this paper show that the combination of mpMRI and machine learning is a powerful tool for quantitatively diagnosing prostate cancer.