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

Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die

August 17, 2017
Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone ...

Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women

August 17, 2017
Women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor light at night may be at higher risk for breast cancer than those living in areas with lower levels, according to a large long-term study from Harvard T.H. Chan School ...

Scientists develop novel immunotherapy technology for prostate cancer

August 17, 2017
A study led by scientists at The Wistar Institute describes a novel immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer based on the use of synthetic DNA to directly encode protective antibodies against a cancer specific ...

Scientists develop blood test that spots tumor-derived DNA in people with early-stage cancers

August 16, 2017
In a bid to detect cancers early and in a noninvasive way, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center report they have developed a test that spots tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA in blood and have used it to ...

Toxic formaldehyde is produced inside our own cells, scientists discover

August 16, 2017
New research has revealed that some of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment - it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells. This could provide new targets for developing ...

Cell cycle-blocking drugs can shrink tumors by enlisting immune system in attack on cancer

August 16, 2017
In the brief time that drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, doctors have made a startling observation: in certain patients, the drugs—designed to halt cancer ...

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.