A team of researchers from the University of Dundee (UK) have identified a novel method for prostate cancer diagnosis and management. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Urology.
The ultrasound process, termed shear wave elastography (SWE) offers greater accuracy and reliability in diagnosis of prostate cancer in addition to being non-invasive and a cheaper method than current options.
“Prostate cancer is one of the most difficult to pinpoint. We are still in a position where our diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely inefficient, leading to unnecessary treatments for many patients,” explained Ghulam Nabi from the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside (UK).
In this prospective protocol-driven diagnostic accuracy study, 212 men undergoing laparoscopic radical prostatectomy for clinically localized PCa were recruited. The team demonstrated that SWE was able to detect 89% of prostate cancers and could identify more aggressive cancers and those beginning to spread outside the prostate.
“We have been able to show a stark difference in results between existing techniques such as MRI and SWE,” Nabi added. “We have had cases where the SWE technique has picked up cancers which MRI did not reveal.”
“It is like someone has turned the lights on in a darkened room. We can now see with much greater accuracy what tissue is cancerous, where it is and what level of treatment it needs,” Nabi concluded.
SWE technology is already used in breast cancer and liver diseases. To make it applicable to prostate cancer a special probe was developed.