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Curr Opin Urol. 2005 May;15(3):163-6.

Update on magnetic resonance imaging, ProstaScint, and novel imaging in prostate cancer.

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Center for Prostate Disease Research, Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.



Despite marked stage migration, approximately a third of patients with clinically organ-confined prostate cancer will have extracapsular extension on pathological analysis. To improve outcomes further, alternative modalities of determining extraprostatic disease must be investigated beyond the current clinical parameters of digital rectal examination, prostate-specific antigen, and Gleason score. In addition, discerning the location of tumor in patients with biochemical recurrence directly affects treatment choice. This review highlights developments in prostate cancer imaging that may improve staging and treatment planning for prostate cancer patients.


Magnetic resonance imaging is most useful in the initial evaluation of men with prostate cancer. Its high specificity for the diagnosis of extracapsular extension is tempered by its low sensitivity. Positron emission tomography is used to assess regional and distant metastasis in many malignancies. Investigation into the most appropriate radiotracer for prostate cancer is paramount in any future applicability. The unique role of ProstaScint has been in evaluating patients with biochemical failure and in trying to discern metastasis before definitive therapy. The addition of spectroscopic imaging and nanoparticle infusion may lead to further improvements. Therefore, in differentiating local versus distant recurrence, appropriate interventions with radiotherapy or hormonal manipulation may be instituted.


Magnetic resonance imaging, ProstaScint, and to some extent positron emission tomography are all relevant imaging modalities for the evaluation of patients with prostate cancer. Current technological advances in each arena are improving the accuracy of diagnosis. Despite their specific limitations, use in the proper clinical setting may provide essential information to improve management decisions and disease outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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