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Rutgers, Penn researchers capture research dollars to improve prostate cancer diagnostic methods

New Brunswick, N.J. -- Pioneering research to increase the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnoses has earned Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and its collaborators $822,000 in research grants.

Diagnostic methods being developed by Rutgers biomedical engineers and University of Pennsylvania physicians use powerful high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) techniques to reveal previously hidden cancerous tissue in prostate glands. The innovative techniques also can pinpoint concentrations of suspicious tissue, thus improving the accuracy of a biopsy and, if needed, the effectiveness of treatment.

Two recent grants totaling $492,000 from the National Institutes of Health, a $50,000 grant from the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and a $25,000 grant from the Charles and Johanna Busch Biomedical Foundation build on initial grants of $255,000 received last year from the Coulter Foundation.

Each year, there are more than 40,000 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States and 240,000 new cases diagnosed, said principal investigator Anant Madabhushi, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers and member of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Physicians who suspect prostate cancer based on high levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood typically order a needle biopsy, because common imaging techniques, such as ultrasound, dont distinguish cancerous tissue. Biopsies are difficult to perform because ultrasound cant reveal the precise location of suspicious tissue. While physicians take several samples from the prostate, a localized mass of cancerous tissue could still be missed.

This results in biopsy accuracy rates of only 20 to 25 percent even for patients with high levels of PSA, said Madabhushi.

The researchers are using a three tesla MRI machine at the University of Pennsylvania, which is twice as strong as machines ty
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Contact: Carl Blesch
cblesch@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x616
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
20-Jun-2007


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