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Cancer Biomark. 2008;4(4-5):213-25.

Tissue elasticity properties as biomarkers for prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.


In this paper we evaluate tissue elasticity as a longstanding but qualitative biomarker for prostate cancer and sonoelastography as an emerging imaging tool for providing qualitative and quantitative measurements of prostate tissue stiffness. A Kelvin-Voigt Fractional Derivative (KVFD) viscoelastic model was used to characterize mechanical stress relaxation data measured from human prostate tissue samples. Mechanical testing results revealed that the viscosity parameter for cancerous prostate tissue is greater than that derived from normal tissue by a factor of approximately 2.4. It was also determined that a significant difference exists between normal and cancerous prostate tissue stiffness (p < 0.01) yielding an average elastic contrast that increases from 2.1 at 0.1 Hz to 2.5 at 150 Hz. Qualitative sonoelastographic results show promise for cancer detection in prostate and may prove to be an effective adjunct imaging technique for biopsy guidance. Elasticity images obtained with quantitative sonoelastography agree with mechanical testing and histological results. Overall, results indicate tissue elasticity is a promising biomarker for prostate cancer.

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