ICR Logo Advanced type of MRI seems to be more beneficial than an invasive biopsy in the health terrain. A groundbreaking study suggests that an advanced type of MRI accurately detects prostate cancer patients in need of Active Surveillance treatment. It was mentioned that some prostate cancers can be aggressive and others may not require treatment.

So men suffering from early stage prostate cancer have the option to delay therapy and opt instead for Active Surveillance. In the Active Surveillance treatment, patients are seemingly made to undergo regular monitoring by biopsy and testing levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. Though biopsies are invasive they apparently come along side-effects and PSA testing can be inaccurate. In the current study, investigators employed a technique known as diffusion-weighted MRI to scan 50 patients at their initial prostate cancer diagnosis and at a follow-up appointment an average of two years later.

“Diffusion-weighted MRI has a lot of potential for monitoring patients under Active Surveillance, as the scans clearly showed which men’s cancers were progressing. If the technique continues to show promise in larger-scale studies, it could one day save men under Active Surveillance from the discomfort and potential complications of regular biopsies,” highlighted, Professor Nandita DeSouza, Co-director of the Cancer Research UK and EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre at the ICR and lead investigator.

During the follow-up, 17 men probably required treatment as their cancer had progressed and 33 remained under Active Surveillance. Diffusion-weighted measurements presumably fell between two scans in men who progressed to treatment, but remained similar for men still under Active Surveillance. The findings can supposedly aid in developing non-invasive, accurate ways of monitoring patients with prostate cancers.

The study is published online in The British Journal of Radiology.