MRI locates prostate Ca recurrence at low PSA levels

May 12, 2011

A pelvic magnetic resonance imaging scan with intravenous contrast and rectal balloon is highly effective in identifying local recurrence even at low PSA values in prostate cancer patients with a rising or persistently elevated PSA after prostatectomy, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta.

A pelvic magnetic resonance imaging scan with intravenous contrast and rectal balloon is highly effective in identifying local recurrence even at low PSA values in prostate cancer patients with a rising or persistently elevated PSA after prostatectomy, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta.

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston evaluated 389 post-prostatectomy patients treated between January 2004 and October 2010, with 143 patients receiving a pelvic MRI to determine whether cancer cells were still present in the area of the surgical bed. Thirty-five of those patients had suspicious MRI findings, suggesting local recurrence. Twenty-six patients were then biopsied, with 23 showing cancer.

The study demonstrated that about one-third of patients with a biopsy-proven recurrence after suspicious MRI finding had a PSA

"Being able to identify such patients is beneficial, as it would be predictive of response to salvage radiation therapy," said lead author Seungtaek Choi, MD. "It also may allow a radiation oncologist to treat the area of recurrent cancer to a higher radiation dose with or without hormone ablation therapy to increase the chance of cure."