Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method for prostate cancer detection can save millions of men painful examination

Date:
April 7, 2014
Source:
Eindhoven University of Technology
Summary:
Each year prostate tissue samples are taken from over a million men around the world -- in most cases using 12 large biopsy needles -- to check whether they have prostate cancer. This medical procedure shows that 70% of the subjects do not have cancer. The examination is unnecessarily painful and involves risk for these patients, and it is also costly to carry out. A patient-friendly examination, which drastically reduces the need for biopsies, and may even eliminate them altogether, has now been developed.

A prostate image generated with the new technique. The red area indicates the tumor.
Credit: Image courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

Each year prostate tissue samples are taken from over a million men around the world -- in most cases using 12 large biopsy needles -- to check whether they have prostate cancer. This medical procedure, which was recently described by an American urology professor as 'barbaric', shows that 70% of the subjects do not have cancer. The examination is unnecessarily painful and involves risk for these patients, and it is also costly to carry out. A patient-friendly examination, which drastically reduces the need for biopsies, and may even eliminate them altogether, has been developed at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), together with AMC Amsterdam. The results will be presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Stockholm, on 14 April.

Hundreds of thousands of men die each year from prostate cancer. The standard procedure used worldwide for prostate cancer examinations starts with measurement of the PSA (prostate specific antigen) value in the blood. If this is high, physicians will usually remove samples of prostate tissue through the anus at six to sixteen points for pathological examination. However, 70% of the subjects show no signs of cancer. So does this mean the high PSA level is a false alarm? Not always: the biopsies may have been taken at just the wrong places. Cancer is later found in 30% of the patients with negative results (no cancer). Among the positive results (patients with signs of cancer), doctors do not know the exact sizes of the tumor. In many cases, operations show that the tumors are so small that surgery was unnecessary. As well as that, the examination leads to inflammations in up to 5% of patients. Plus the fact that each examination costs around USD 2500 to carry out.

Recognizable blood vessel pattern in cancer

Research team leader Massimo Mischi at TU/e has developed a method to investigate whether and where men have prostate cancer using existing ultrasound scanners, together with the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam. These devices create images of organs in the body using sound waves, in the same way as prenatal ultrasound scans. But these systems are usually unable to show the difference between healthy and tumor tissue. To make this visible, Mischi used the fact that tumor tissue produces large numbers of small blood vessels to allow it to grow, with a characteristic pattern. Patients are given a single injection of a contrast medium containing tiny bubbles, which are shown by the ultrasound scanner right down to the smallest blood vessels. Using advanced image-analysis techniques that can recognize the characteristic blood vessel pattern in tumors, the computer then generates an image showing where the tumor is. The examination only takes one minute, and the results are available no more than a few minutes later. These examinations also save money, because costly biopsy analysis is no longer necessary.

Precise prediction

The researchers were able to compare the 'tumor images' from 24 patients at three hospitals in the Netherlands with the actual prostates after removal by operation. The images were found to give a good indication of the locations and sizes of the tumors. Massimo Mischi will present the results at the European Association of Urologists Congress in Stockholm on 14 April. It is exceptional for a scientist from a university of technology to be given the opportunity to speak at this congress of medical specialists.

Far fewer biopsies

The use of the new method, which has been patented by TU/e, can avoid the need for biopsies to be taken from millions of men around the world. The procedure will no longer be necessary for a large part of the 70% of men from whom biopsies are currently taken unnecessarily. And far fewer biopsies will need to be taken from the remaining 30% because the location of the tumor is already clear. Once the new method has been sufficiently proven in clinical practice, the need to do biopsies may even be eliminated almost entirely.

Quick and simple introduction

The research is being carried out together with the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam and two other Dutch hospitals. A major comparative study will be held in these hospitals next year between the old and new methods, to proof that the new method is better. This will involve the use of both methods on at least 250 men. If all goes well the method will also be made available from 2016 for other patients, a large part of which will then no longer have to undergo the old and painful form of examination. The new method can be introduced quite simply because no new equipment is required; the existing ultrasound scanners which the hospitals already have can continue to be used.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Eindhoven University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alex Carignan, Jean-François Roussy, Véronique Lapointe, Louis Valiquette, Robert Sabbagh, Jacques Pépin. Increasing Risk of Infectious Complications After Transrectal Ultrasound–Guided Prostate Biopsies: Time to Reassess Antimicrobial Prophylaxis? European Urology, 2012; 62 (3): 453 DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2012.04.044

Cite This Page:

Eindhoven University of Technology. "New method for prostate cancer detection can save millions of men painful examination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090519.htm>.
Eindhoven University of Technology. (2014, April 7). New method for prostate cancer detection can save millions of men painful examination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090519.htm
Eindhoven University of Technology. "New method for prostate cancer detection can save millions of men painful examination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090519.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins