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New technology fuses MRI, ultrasound to achieve targeted biopsy of prostate cancer
Date:5/11/2011

Targeted biopsy, a major advance in prostate cancer diagnostics, was detailed by a UCLA team in the current issue of Urologic Oncology. The new technology fuses MRI with real-time 3D ultrasound, providing an exacting method to obtain biopsy specimens from suspicious areas in the prostate.

The unique fusion method provides a major improvement in the way prostate biopsy is performed since the current biopsy methods were developed in the mid-1980s, according to UCLA professor of urology Dr. Leonard S. Marks, a study author.

Four UCLA departments urology, radiology, pathology and biomedical engineering collaborated with the medical device company Eigen Inc. to develop and test the technology. The team's early experiences with it are reported in the online May/June issue of the journal Urologic Oncology.

"It's difficult to identify and target suspicious areas using two-dimensional, conventional ultrasound, so urologists currently take samples systematically from the entire prostate," said Marks. "The advent of MRIultrasound fusion has led to a promising advance in prostate imaging and biopsy targeting.

"Despite the technology revolution of the past several decades, we are still performing prostate biopsies just the same as in the mid-1980s," he said. "We are hopeful that new imaging methods like MRIultrasound fusion may soon change that."

According to the American Cancer Society, 230,000 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year, but not every one of them is deadly. Many small prostate cancers are not serious health threats, and in those cases, surveillance programs can help men avoid radical treatments like surgery. Many smaller cancers grow so slowly that they may never require treatment at all. The new imaging technology could help doctors differentiate the serious cancers from the insignificant.

Marks noted that the new technology may be most beneficial for patients wh
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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