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Image Guided Therapy Prostate Group

Our Mission

Prostate cancer represents one of the most significant challenges in medicine and public health facing the US healthcare system today. Its increased diagnosis has led to a virtual epidemic of the disease. We are working on applying an interactive comprehensive MR image-guided program for the diagnosis and treatment of localized prostate cancer. Since these procedures began significant advances have been made in MR guidance for localization, navigation and the delivery of therapy, like those seen today in neurosurgery. We are adapting and translating these tools and advances. MRI is uniquely suited to imaging the prostate as it allows excellent visualization of the gland, its boundary, its substructure and all surrounding tissues.

Our main goal is to adapt recent advances in multiparametric MR for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of men with prostate cancer. The challenge is to increase the information content of intraoperative image data by using multimodal features while at the same time preserving the interactivity and the near real-time features of intraoperative imaging. If this can be achieved, the precise delivery of treatment to maximize tumor control and to minimize side effects will be reached and will improve the patients quality of life after treatment.

Our current goal is to extend the MR-guided prostate intervention program. When we began, we focused on two areas, specifically: the first MR-guided prostate brachytherapy and biopsy programs. The biopsy program allows selected target sampling of the gland under real-time MR guidance. We demonstrated the procedure and the important contribution of 3D Slicer. We have shown that by sampling MR-defined targets, improvements in the diagnosis of prostate cancer can be achieved. We have demonstrated, with MR-guided brachytherapy, that sub-total treatments of the prostate can lead to very successful cancer control with excellent quality of life post-treatment. Worldwide, many groups and centers are following and adapting this approach. Others are expanding diagnostic approaches and treatment options involving focal or sub-total gland treatments. Examples are cryotherapy, laser, MRgFUS, HIFU, and photodynamic therapy. Multi-parametric MR imaging, image processing and real-time navigation and visualization tools have the potential to address many current deficiencies in these approaches.