There is a new technique for diagnosing prostate cancer. A team of researchers from Dundee University has developed an accurate test. They use an ultrasound process called SWE – shear wave elastography, which helps them detect prostate tumors.
Why is this a better test? First of all, it’s non-invasive and a lot cheaper than the other current modes of testing.
SWE is More Accurate, Detecting Cancers MRI Cannot Reveal
The team leader if the study is Professor Ghulam Nabi. he explains the need for finding new ways of detecting cancer and why is their method better:
“Current diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely inefficient, leading to unnecessary treatments for many patients. Our new method is far more accurate and also allows us to identify the difference between cancerous and benign tissue in the prostate without the need for invasive surgery.”
This method will use ultrasound to detect tumors: tissue that is cancerous is stiffer than normal tissue, so the shear waves pass slower through a tumor. Nabi stated that they have compared their new technology with the current MRI testing:
“We have been able to show a stark difference in results between our technology and existing techniques such as MRI. The technique has picked up cancers which MRI did not reveal. We can now see with much greater accuracy what tissue is cancerous, where it is and what level of treatment it needs. This is a significant step forward.”
SWE Technology in Breast Cancer
For the trials, they used 200 patients, but the researchers plan to get more data. The WE tech is used in detecting breast cancer or even liver diseases.
For prostate cancer, researchers must create a special probe. Simon Grieveson, head of research funding at Prostate Cancer UK and the one that funded this project, said that this new breakthrough should be further tested in a large group of men:
“The technique now needs to be tested in a much larger number of men to confirm just how well it can detect the aggressive cancers, while also ruling out those who do not have prostate cancer.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.