Advances in magnetic resonance imaging: How they are changing the management of prostate cancer - Abstract

Department of Urology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is emerging as the most commonly used imaging modality for prostate cancer (PCa) detection, treatment planning, and follow-up, its acceptance has not been uniform. Recently, great interest has been shown in multiparametric MRI, which combines anatomic T2-weighted (T2W) imaging with MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI), and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI).

The aim of this article is to review the current roles of these MR techniques in different aspects of PCa management: initial diagnosis, biopsy strategies, planning of radical prostatectomy (RP) and external radiation therapy (RT), and implementation of alternative focal therapies.

The authors searched the Medline and Cochrane Library databases (primary fields: prostatic neoplasm, magnetic resonance). The search was performed without language restriction from January 2008 to November 2010.

Initial diagnosis: The data suggest that the combination of T2W MRI and DWI or MRSI with DCE-MRI has the potential to guide biopsy to the most aggressive cancer foci in patients with previously negative biopsies, increasing the accuracy of the procedure. Transrectal MR-guided prostate biopsy can improve PCa detection, but its availability is still limited and the examination time is rather long. Planning of RP: It appears that adding MRSI, DWI, and/or DCE-MRI to T2W MRI can facilitate better preoperative characterization of cancer with regard to location, size, and relationship to prostatic and extraprostatic structures, and it may also facilitate early detection of local recurrence. Thus, use of these MR techniques may improve surgical, oncologic, and functional management. Planning of external RT and focal therapies: MR techniques have similar potential in these areas, but the published data remain very limited.

MRI technology is continuously evolving, and more extensive use of MRI technology in clinical trials and practice will help to improve PCa diagnosis and treatment planning.

Written by:
Sciarra A, Barentsz J, Bjartell A, Eastham J, Hricak H, Panebianco V, Witjes JA.   Are you the author?

Reference: Eur Urol. 2011 Feb 23. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2011.02.034

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21367519 Prostate Cancer Section