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NanoMRI in the diagnosis of prostate cancer spread to lymph nodes

Dr Pokorny, Dr Thompson, Prof Jelle Barentsz, and our colleagues from Wesley Medical Imaging were recently featured on Channel Nine news in Brisbane for the promotion of our upcoming research study, looking at the use of nanoMRI in the diagnosis of prostate cancer spread to lymph nodes. This study, under the auspices of The Wesley Research Institute, aims to improve the early diagnosis of spread of cancer outside the prostate, in order to help surgeons and oncologists provide better-tailored care to each patient.

Currently in Australia, about 50% of men having surgery to remove the prostate also have the pelvic lymph glands near the prostate removed in case there is cancer spread to the lymph glands. However, 85% of men have no spread to the glands, and this represents unnecessary extra surgery with added risks.

Our current imaging techniques are pretty good but far from perfect, and cancer in small lymph glands under 5 to 8mm is often not revealed by current techniques (including PSMA PET, 18F or 11C PET).

This study will be using small injectable iron nano-particles, which are taken up into lymph glands, and allow radiologists to see abnormal lymph glands filled with cancer at very high resolution. We hope to begin this trial later this year. View the Channel Nine news segment.