Combining MRI and US Improves Prostate Imaging

Combining MRI with a traditional ultrasound prostate exam to create a 3D map of the prostate that allows physicians to view previously undetectable growths, according oncologists at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

An ultrasound machine provides an imperfect view of the prostate, resulting in an underdiagnosis of cancer, says J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, the UC San Diego Health System urologic oncologist who is working with the technology at Moores Cancer Center.

“With an ultrasound exam, we are typically unable to see the most suspicious areas of the prostate so we end up sampling different parts of the prostate that statistically speaking are more likely to have cancer,” says Parsons, who is also an associate professor in the department of urology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “The MRI is a game-changer. It allows us to target the biopsy needles exactly where we think the cancer is located. It’s more precise.”

An early diagnosis typically improves a patient’s prognosis. In the United States, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, with more than 29,000 estimated deaths expected this year. For patients, the only added step to the prostate exam is the MRI scan, which occurs in a separate visit in advance of the biopsy exam. Working with David Karow, MD, PhD, a UC San Diego Health System radiologist, Parsons uses new tools and software—DynaCAD for Prostate with the UroNav fusion biopsy system—to combine the MRI with real-time, ultrasound-guided biopsy images in the clinic, resulting in a 3D roadmap of the prostate.

Source: University of California, San Diego