MRI locates prostate cancer recurrence at extremely low PSA levels

April 29, 2011

A pelvic MRI scan with IV contrast and rectal balloon is highly effective in identifying local recurrence even at low PSA values in prostate cancer patients with a rising or persistently elevated PSA after prostatectomy, according to a study presented April 29, 2011, at the Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta. The symposium is co-sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston evaluated 389 postprostatectomy patients treated between January 2004 and October 2010, with 143 receiving a pelvic MRI to determine if cancer cells were still present in the area of the surgical bed. Thirty-five of those patients had suspicious MRI findings suggesting local recurrence. Twenty-six patients were then biopsied, with 23 showing cancer.

The study showed that about one-third of patients with a biopsy-proven recurrence after suspicious MRI finding had a PSA of less than 1, with several having a PSA as low as 0.3.

A scan of the surgical bed is typically performed after a and before salvage radiation therapy treatment in patients with a rising PSA to determine a potential recurrence and location of recurrence. An MRI is able to differentiate between soft tissues better than a traditional CT scan, so the high rates of picked up by the MRI were not surprising to researchers. What was surprising was the low PSA levels at which the MRI could determine recurrent disease.

"Being able to identify such patients is beneficial, as it would be predictive of response to salvage radiation therapy," Seungtaek Choi, MD, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said. "It also may allow a radiation oncologist to treat the area of recurrent cancer to a higher with or without hormone ablation therapy to increase the chance of cure."

More information: The abstract, "The Use of Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) Endorectal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the Evaluation of Patients with Rising or Persistently Elevated PSA after Radical Prostatectomy," will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 29, 2011.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Men face higher risk of cancers linked to oral sex

February 13, 2016

Men are twice as likely as women to get cancer of the mouth and throat linked to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, researchers say.

Researchers discover underlying cause of myeloma

February 11, 2016

Yale Cancer Center researchers have identified what causes a third of all myelomas, a type of cancer affecting plasma cells. The findings, published Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, could fundamentally change ...

Scientists find leukemia's surroundings key to its growth

February 10, 2016

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a type of cancer found primarily in children can grow only when signaled to do so by other nearby cells that are noncancerous. The finding, published in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.