NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $3.3 million grant to a research team that includes Rutgers University to increase the reliability of imaging prostate cancer.
The team, led by Riverside Research Institute and involving clinicians from Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and engineers at GE Global Research, will research ways to help urologists zero in on suspicious tissue in the prostate gland while they perform needle biopsies or localized treatments for prostate cancer.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the grant under its industrial-academic partnership program to fund work that can quickly move from the research lab to patient care.The researchers are developing technology to pinpoint the locations of suspected cancerous tissue using both magnetic resonance images acquired just before the biopsy or treatment and ultrasound images acquired at the time of the procedure.
Currently, urologists typically use conventional ultrasound images to guide them to various regions of the prostate gland, from which they extract samples of tissue. While conventional ultrasound can image the gland well, it cannot reveal the presence or location of suspicious tissue inside the gland. If the biopsy samples don’t yield cancerous tissue, there’s still a chance that cancer is present.
“As a result, urologists aren’t always confident about ruling out cancer after a negative biopsy guided by conventional ultrasound,” said Anant Madabhushi, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Graduate faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers and co-investigator on the NIH grant.