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Prostate cancer now detectable by imaging-guided biopsy
Date:12/10/2012

Ground-breaking research by a UCLA team of physicians and engineers demonstrates that prostate cancer can be diagnosed using image-guided targeted biopsy.

Traditionally found only by blind biopsy, a procedure that dates from the 1980s, prostate cancer now appears detectable by direct sampling of tumor spots found using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in combination with real-time ultrasound, according to the UCLA study released Dec. 10, 2012 early online for the January 2013 issue of The Journal of Urology.

The study indicates that the MRI and ultrasound fusion biopsy, which is much more accurate than conventional blind biopsy, may lead to a reduction in the numbers of prostate biopsies performed and allow for early detection of serious prostate cancers.

The study involved 171 men who were using active surveillance to monitor slow growing prostate cancers or men who had persistently elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) --a protein produced by the prostate that can indicate the presence of cancer but had prior negative biopsies. The UCLA biopsies were done in about 20 minutes in an outpatient clinic setting under local anesthesia.

Elevations in serum PSA level trigger nearly all of the one million prostate biopsies performed in the United States every year. Annually, about 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer are discovered. Thus, about 75 percent of the biopsies are negative for cancer. However many of those men with negative biopsies but elevated PSA levels may still harbor malignant tumors that were missed by conventional biopsies, said study senior author Dr. Leonard S. Marks, a professor of urology and director of the UCLA Active Surveillance Program.

"Early prostate cancer is difficult to image because of the limited contrast between normal and malignant tissues within the prostate," Marks said. "Conventional biopsies are basically performed blindly, because we can't see what we're aiming for. N
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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2262
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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