Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Improves with MRI Technology

“Oncologists at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center are the first in San Diego to meld magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with a traditional ultrasound prostate exam to create a three-dimensional map of the prostate that allows physicians to view growths that were previously undetectable.

“An ultrasound machine provides an imperfect view of the prostate, resulting in an under-diagnosis of cancer, said J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, the UC San Diego Health System urologic oncologist who, along with Christopher Kane, MD, chair of the Department of Urology and Karim Kader, MD, PhD, urologic oncologist, is pioneering the new technology at Moores Cancer Center.

“ ‘With an ultrasound exam, we are typically unable to see the most suspicious areas of the prostate so we end up sampling different parts of the prostate that statistically speaking are more likely to have cancer,’ said Parsons, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Urology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. ‘The MRI is a game-changer. It allows us to target the biopsy needles exactly where we think the cancer is located. It’s more precise.’ ”