MRI-ultrasound fusion method to obtain targeted biopsy of prostate cancer

Scientists have developed a new screening technology fusing 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 Leonard S. Marks, the study’s author.

Four UCLA departments — urology, radiology, pathology and biomedical engineering — collaborated with the medical device company Eigen Inc. to develop and test the technology.

“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 MRI–ultrasound fusion has led to a promising advance in prostate imaging and biopsy targeting,” he said.

The new imaging technology could help doctors differentiate the serious cancers from the insignificant.

The finding was reported in the online May/June issue of the journal Urologic Oncology.

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