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December 21, 2010

Advanced MRI Could be Used to Detect Prostate Cancer Progression

An advanced type of MRI could be used instead of invasive biopsy to determine whether cancer patients under active surveillance require treatment, according to a study published in The British Journal of Radiology. Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal M

By cms admin

An advanced type of MRI could be used instead of invasive biopsy to determine whether cancer patients under active surveillance require treatment, according to a study published in The British Journal of Radiology.

Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital used diffusion-weighted MRI to scan 50 patients who were at their initial prostate cancer diagnosis.

Follow-up appointments were held an average of two years later, and after each scan, scientists calculated the apparent diffusion coefficient – a measurement of water movement within tissue.

By the follow-up appointment, 17 patients required treatment as their cancer had progressed, while 33 remained under active surveillance.

The scientists found that for patients who progressed to treatment, the diffusion-weighted measurements fell between the two scans, while the measurements remained similar for patients under active surveillance.

Study leader Professor Nandita deSouza said diffusion-weighted MRI has a lot of potential for monitoring patients under active surveillance, as the scans clearly showed which patient’s cancers were progressing.

“If the technique continues to show promise in larger-scale studies, it could one day save men under active surveillance from the discomfort and potential complications of regular biopsies,” deSouza added.

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