"Targeted prostate biopsy has the potential to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer and may aid in the selection of patients for active surveillance and focal therapy," the study authors wrote.
Another expert said the the new technology has real promise.
"Prostate biopsies have been performed the same way for the past 30 years," said Dr. Louis Potters, chair of radiation medicine at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "The study from UCLA is evaluating the next step in the evolution of the prostate biopsy. It combines the state-of-the-art MRI which allows clinicians to see inside the prostate with incredible detail."
Potters said the UCLA data matches those from his own institution "that reports improved cancer detection of this technique" compared to traditional biopsy.
"More importantly, the lesions seen on the MRI with a corresponding positive biopsy are associated with a higher grade cancer and increased amount of cancer sampled," he said. "This translates into improved information for the patient, as well as the clinician."
Besides allowing "better visualization" of tumors, "adding the MRI to the ultrasound seems to allow preferential detection of the more life-threatening type of cancer [high-grade], which could reduce the chances that a man would undergo unnecessary treatment," he said.
As for cost, "the overall added cost of the MRI may be offset by the reduced number of biopsy procedures," Bromberg said.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute provides more information on prostate cancer screening.
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SOURCE: Warren Bromberg, M.D., chief, urology, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, N.Y.; Louis Potters, M.D., chair,
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