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ARRS: Imaging Helps Plan Prostate Cancer Surgery

MRI and MRS correctly identify stage and extent of cancer prior to robotic radical prostatectomy

TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) are useful tools that can help surgeons plan robotically assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomies, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in Orlando, Fla.

Mittul Gulati, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues studied 39 patients who underwent endorectal 1.5-T MRI/MRS following a prostate biopsy. The study included a subgroup of 16 patients who subsequently underwent robotically assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.

The researchers found that MRI/MRS correctly staged 12 of 16 patients who underwent robotic surgery. In three cases, they found that MRI/MRS showed extension of cancer outside the capsule and involvement of the neurovascular bundle, allowing the surgeon to achieve negative surgical margins by planning a wide resection of the neurovascular bundle on the involved side.

"The magnetic resonance imaging, if done accurately, can provide a 'road map' of the prostate, telling the surgeon if one of the neurovascular bundles are involved before the patient is taken to surgery, and if so, what needs to be done to provide an effective operation," Gulati said in a statement.

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