NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Magnetic resonance imaging could help assess prostate cancers that need more aggressive treatment, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., report more than 90 percent accuracy in distinguishing low-grade from high-grade prostate cancers using magnetic resonance spectroscopy that maps concentrations of certain chemicals that indicate the presence of cancer in the prostate gland.
"The breakthrough we've had in the last few months is that we see image signatures that distinguish aggressive cancers from less aggressive ones," Anant Madabhushi says in a statement. "Now we're getting beyond merely identifying whether a person has cancer or not."
In a preliminary study, Madabhushi and colleagues used computer analyses of the images and spectra to differentiate prostate tumors on 19 patients who then had the prostate surgically removed.
Recent studies suggest men with low-risk cancers receive aggressive treatment, but improved diagnostic methods outlined by this study may help patients with low-risk cancers and their physicians feel more confident with watchful waiting, Madabhushi says.
The Rutgers findings are scheduled to be presented at the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention Conference held in Beijing in September.