Four UCLA departments (biomedical engineering, pathology, radiology and urology) develop and test the new prostate-imaging technology that fuses MRI with real-time, three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound. The project was done in collaboration with leading medical imaging company Eigen Inc.
Professor of urology and study author Dr. Leonard Marks considered the new technology beneficial for patients who belong to two particular groups. One group is made up of patients who had prior negative biopsies but have consistently increased prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. The other group is composed of patients with low-risk prostate cancer under close monitoring.
Dr. Marks said that the emergence of MRI-ultrasound technology is a big step forward in the field of prostate imaging and biopsy targeting.
The 3D prostate biopsy technology, called Artemis, was proven more efficient at detecting prostate cancer than the old technology that uses ultrasound alone. Artemis was tested on 171 men who had undergone the procedure for active monitoring or those with elevated PSA despite their prior negative biopsy.
Dr. Marks and team in the Journal of Urology wrote that Magnetic resonance ultrasound (MR-US) systems that merged MR images with real-time US provide the increased resolution of MRI and the practicality of ultrasound. Furthermore, MR-US systems efficiently cut cost and time wastage while keeping the accuracy of MR-guided biopsy at the same time.
Dr. Marks and team further explained that the MR-US technology was thrice more likely to detect the existence of prostate cancer than a systematic biopsy.
Further research, which includes a detailed study that correlates MRI, targeted biopsy results and biopsy specimens, is ongoing.
Early results of the team’s research are already reported online in the May-June issue of Urologic Oncology.