New MRI Technology can Surpass Invasive Tumor Biopsies

New MRI Technology can Surpass Invasive Tumor Biopsies

Advance Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that can provide detail data regarding about the nature and aggressiveness of the cancer tumor without performing a biopsy.

Initial stage of cancer diagnostic involves tissue biopsy. By sampling the tumor, physicians can determine whether the cancer is benign or malignant. However, biopsies are invasive procedures with risks involved. Investigators with the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that can provide information about the nature and aggressiveness of the cancer without having to perform a biopsy.

The team, led by Drs. Ivan Pedrosa and Jeffrey Cadeddu, co-authors of the study highlighted on the cover of The Journal of Urology have developed multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) protocols that can assist physicians to diagnose the nature of tumor. The protocols allow investigators to evaluate the chemical composition of the tumor without a biopsy. This can assist physicians to diagnose what type of cancer accurately. “Using mpMRI, multiple types of images can be obtained from the renal mass and each one tells us something about the tissue,” said Dr. Ivan Pedrosa, Professor of Radiology and Chief of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

The standardized diagnostic algorithm is based on the appearance of the renal mass on specific MRI images, namely T2-weighted images and those immediately after intravenous (IV) dye reaches the kidney. Other images are used to indicate presence of fat in the tumor. Based on the algorithm, physicians can recognize clear cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common and aggressive form of kidney cancer with 80% accuracy.

According to Tissue Diagnostic Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, biopsy is done to identify likely cause of cancerous and non-cancerous tissue, which are unable to detect through CT-scan or X-rays. However, biopsy procedure can be invasive, which creates opportunity for development of alternatives. Investigators at UT Southwestern are working on improving the MRI technology to not only predict type of cancer, but also to tell how aggressive it is in near future.

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