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MRI Is An Effective Tool For Determining Pathologic Stage of Prostate Cancer

April 24, 2009

In patients with prostate cancer undergoing prostatectomy, MR imaging plays an important role in determining if the cancer is restricted to the prostate gland or if it has spread beyond the capsule, according to a study performed at the University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

The study included a review of 119 patients who were referred for prostate MRI prior to prostatectomy. “Results showed that MRI correctly identified 87/92 (95%) of patients with T2 and 6/8 (75%) of patients with T3 disease (T2 means the disease is organ confined and T3 means the disease has locally spread beyond the prostate),” said Timothy McClure, MD, lead author of the study. Steven Raman, MD, worked with Dr. McClure on this study.

“Current techniques for prostate cancer diagnosis are inaccurate in differentiating men who need treatment from those who do not. In fact, recent studies have even questioned the role of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening in the general population, given the side effects of treatment. As such, there has been much interest in focal therapy in prostate cancer treatment; but this will require a more accurate diagnosis, especially the ability to detect high grade cancers. A new paradigm for prostate cancer diagnosis needs to be developed and our study suggests that MR imaging of the prostate may play a role,” said Dr. McClure.

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