Because treatment for prostate cancer often leads to incontinence and erectile dysfunction, the ability to discern between the roughly 10 percent of prostate cancers that are aggressive and require treatment versus the other 90 percent of tumors safely followed without treatment through active surveillance can mean a world of difference to patients. Until very recently, prostate biopsy was performed as a series of needle tissue samples in a grid-like pattern across the entire prostate. This hit or miss approach occasionally left aggressive cancers undetected while recommending treatment for non-problematic lesions.

But now researchers like the University of Maryland's M. Minhaj Siddiqui, MD, Dirk Mayer, Dr. rer. nat., and their colleagues are exploring the use of MRI-ultrasound fusion and metabolic imaging to allow for targeted biopsy of suspicious tissues. The University of Maryland is one of fewer than a dozen U.S. centers to have a GE SpinLab Hyperpolarizer, which works with heavy carbon isotope-labeled compounds to produce visually stunning images of metabolically active areas. These enhanced imaging techniques can help improve risk stratification, so patients receive the appropriate level of care.

The metabolism of prostate cancer itself will also soon be under investigation at the University of Maryland through a clinical trial that will study the effects of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diet on prostate tumor growth in patients under active surveillance. Led by Adeel Kaiser, MD, the study will seek to answer the questions of why obesity is associated with suboptimal prostate cancer outcomes and why weight loss benefits patients.

To refer a patient for prostate cancer care, please call 410-328-6422 or 1-800-888-8823

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