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Prostate cancer patients can detect aggressive tumours early with MRI

by , 29 May 2017
Prostate cancer patients can detect aggressive tumours early with MRI
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University, Molecular Theranostics and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the USA have discovered a process that allows the use of MRI to detect aggressive, metastatic tumours early in prostate cancer patients.
While their study, published in the journal Biconjugate Chemistry, was done on mice models, the researchers consider this a breakthrough study that may aid in the early detection of prostate tumours in humans. Keep reading for more on this study.

Mouse study finds that MRI may help detect prostate tumours early in prostate cancer patients

To reach their finding, the researchers looked at a mouse prostate cancer model. They identified a cancer-causing oncoprotein, known as extradomain B fibronectin (EDB-FN) and discovered that it’s expressed at high levels by aggressive prostate cancer cells.
They also synthesised ZD2, which binds to EDB-FN and found that ZD2 exhibited noo binding to normal tissues, low binding to low-grade prostate tumours and strong binding to high-grade human prostate tumours. The researchers engineered ZD2 so they could use it to non-invasively detect high-grade prostate cancer in the mouse prostate cancer model.


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The researchers concluded that the combination of strong signal in high-risk prostate tumours and minimal residual body accumulation were phenomenal early results. They hope that their finding has real potential to non-invasively determine aggressive prostate cancer in humans so they can seek early treatment. They also hope it will prevent humans with slow-growing prostate tumours from getting unnecessary invasive treatment.
“We can potentially use MRI to noninvasively find those individuals with the high-grade tumours and find them early when treatment has a much higher chance of being effective,” said Zheng-Rong Lu, senior author of the study.

Officials say this finding is a “promising step” for early prostate cancer detection

Officials commented on the finding, saying that is serves as a “promising step” for reliable early detection and treatment of high-risk, life-threatening prostate cancer.
“The key is to differentiate clinically significant, high-risk tumours that need treatments from those low-risk tumours that do not require treatment, which will spare many patients from unnecessary, expensive and invasive procedures,” added  Guoying Liu, director of the NIBIB program in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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