Traditionally, if a doctor detects in one of the organs of the patient’s tumor, it requires an additional invasive procedure called a “biopsy” to establish whether a tumor is malignant or benign. Researchers from southwestern medical center the University of Texas have developed an innovative technique that allows high accuracy to determine the composition and aggressiveness of the tumor without invasive intervention in the body. And this became possible thanks to the technology of magnetic resonance imaging.
“The biopsy is often associated with pain and discomfort. There were occasions when some patients chose to refuse further treatment simply in order to avoid this unpleasant procedure, which, as you know, led to tragic consequences,” explains study co-author Jeffrey Cadeau.
A new technique for the determination of tumor type is called “multiparametric MRI” (mpMRI) and, in addition to well-tested in practice the technology of magnetic resonance imaging, includes specific diagnostic algorithm that weights several MRI images of internal body. In the case of this study the tests were conducted on the kidneys. The algorithm identifies the images of many target factors, including, for example, microscopic accumulations of fat in the tumor and the signal intensity at T2-sequence.
“Using our technology mpMRI, we can through the array of images to obtain a large amount of valuable data about the tumor, which in turn tells us about its development, aggressiveness, and other parameters,” — says the second author of the study, Ivan Pedrosa.
Of course, this technique is not yet able to replace the traditional biopsy, but rather become a complement or alternative in some situations. The accuracy of mpMRI to date is over 80%, which is a very good result, especially considering that it is absolutely not necessary to make incisions on the patient’s body, to push them a laparoscope and other instruments, and then pinch off the tissue from the tumor. The research results were published in The Journal of Urology.