Editor’s Note: Seeing Is Believing
By Dave Yeager
Vol. 22 No. 7 P. 6
Better visualization is the calling card of medical imaging. To see better is to make more accurate clinical judgments and, potentially, provide more effective treatment options. But seeing better can be complicated by many factors, both technological and human. This month’s features highlight some of those challenges as well as some of the ingenious ways that vendors and clinicians are surmounting them.
Our cover feature examines how molecular imaging is reshaping prostate cancer treatment. Keith Loria reports on recent advances that allow clinicians to localize the cancer with unprecedented accuracy and, in some cases, deliver therapy with a single radiotracer. The novel design of these compounds not only pinpoints the cancer but also targets it effectively, with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
In other news, the US Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendations for colorectal cancer screening earlier this year. With colorectal cancer rates rising in younger adults, the USPSTF now recommends that screening begin at age 45, rather than 50. Notably, the updated guidelines include CT colonography as a recommended screening modality. Beth W. Orenstein takes a closer look at how these changes may affect screening regimens and what patients should know.
Also, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Aine Cryts has the latest on a study, published in the June issue of Radiology, that investigated the factors that influence breast imagers’ reading accuracy. Although the majority of the 1,223 radiologists included in the study demonstrated acceptable performance, the authors still found that subspecialization and experience were important factors in the radiologists’ proficiency. Several experts interviewed for the story feel that additional training in mammography for more radiologists will significantly enhance reading accuracy and, by extension, patient outcomes.
Finally, Kathy Hardy details a mixed reality platform that is helping interventional cardiologists plan and perform minimally invasive heart procedures. The platform uses ultrasound images to create a 4D image of a patient’s heart so physicians can see the anatomy in detail and from any angle before they begin the procedure. Although the platform is currently being used only for certain cardiac procedures, Jacob Dutcher, MD, who was interviewed for the article, believes it will find widespread use in many areas of health care.
Enjoy the issue.