Study Describes New Imaging Technique for Detecting Prostate Cancer

Study Describes New Imaging Technique for Detecting Prostate Cancer
A new imaging technique that combines ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging of the prostate delivers detailed information about the prostate's anatomy and cancer location, identifying some cancers that would be invisible to conventional imaging. The approach, called transrectal ultrasound and photoacoustic device, or TRUSPA, may enable earlier detection of prostate cancer. The new technology was described in a study titled "Simultaneous transrectal ultrasound and photoacoustic human prostate imaging," which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Seeking the best ways to diagnose prostate cancer early is a continuous challenge for researchers and physicians. One strategy is to image the prostate using ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) scans, looking for physical changes that might indicate cancer. This can be useful, but there's a catch. "The problem is that cancer within the prostate quite often doesn't lead to any anatomical changes until it's quite large or has spread beyond the capsule of the prostate into the lymph nodes around it," Sanjiv "Sam" Gambhir, MD, PhD, said in a press release. Gambhir is chairman of the Department of Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. "So for decades we've been looking for ways to analyze and image the prostate with greater detail to detect changes earlier on, safely, and at relatively low cost," he said. TRUSPA combines ultrasound with photoacoustic imaging (PAI) to create a picture of the different structures within the prostate, using ultrasound to get the shape and PAI to differentiate between different types of tissues. The researchers also used an imaging agent called indocyanine green (ICG), which is already approved for hu
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