The novel ultrasound method identifies prostate cancer requiring immediate clinical therapy, as much efficiently as MRI
A team of scientists at University College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, U.K. developed new type of ultrasound scan technique that diagnoses cases of prostate cancer with accuracy same as that of time-consuming and costly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The research published in the journal The Lancet Oncology in March 2022 provides an easier way for testing patients quickly for clinically-significant prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common type of cancer that occurs in men and it grows slowly. So, diagnosing this cancer can be complicated. The tests for diagnosis include digital rectal examination and a blood test that looks into PSA levels, which is a biomarker that identifies presence of this cancer. However, sometimes PSA tests picks up cancer signals at very beginning stage leading to non-required treatments. The newly developed ultrasound method is called as multiparametric ultrasound (mpUSS), which involves the use of a probe inserted in the rectum for imaging the prostate through a variety of ultrasound techniques. The large scale trial of this method gave promising results determining efficiency of this ultrasound test. The team recruited hundreds of men at high risk of prostate cancer and gave both MRI and mpUSS imaging as well as following biopsies to each subject verifying the severity of detected cancer.
According to the findings of this study, the novel ultrasound method was almost equally effective to MRI in detecting clinically significant prostate cancer cases. However, the new method could catch small volume of such significant cancer that were missed by MRI scans. As reported by the team, the new method mpUSS can be used as a promising alternative to MRI, as this technique is faster, cheaper and widely available compared to MRI.