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Biochemical profile may help diagnose, determine aggressiveness of prostate cancer
Date:1/27/2010

oss sections of five cancerous prostate glands that had been removed from patients. The scans measured proportions of metabolites biochemicals produced by various metabolic processes that had been associated with the presence of cancer using data from the 2005 study. After scanning was complete, the prostate glands were examined by standard histological techniques, which determine the presence of tumor based on the tissue's appearance. The histological analysis was done in a way that preserved the tumor's location within the prostate.

When the two analyses were compared, five out of seven prostate regions where histologically identified tumor was located also scored high on a spectroscopy-based "malignancy index." The two other tumor regions were near the outer edge of the prostates, where exposure to the air compromised the accuracy of MR spectroscopy results. For those tumors that did match, higher malignancy index scores also corresponded with larger tumors. And while the malignancy index was most accurate in identifying stage II tumors those confined to the prostate and large enough to be felt in a physical exam its overall accuracy was more than 90 percent.

Cheng explains that a prostate tumor's complete metabolomic profile has the potential to give essential information on its biological status. "As we analyze more and more tumors with spectroscopy, we should be able to define profiles that reflect specific clinical and pathological states, achieving a true needle-free, MR biopsy," he explains. "And once these spectra are measured, they can be recombined to provide profiles reflecting parameters from the tumor's location to, ultimately, its aggressiveness."

Since the current study was conducted using a whole-body clinical MR scanner, it should be adaptable to scanning patients. Because it used the powerful 7-tesla magnetic resonance equipment at the MGH's Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Cheng plans to furthe
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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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