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MRI steadily underestimates the dimensions of prostate tumors, finds research


A study conducted by researchers at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center found that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) often underestimates the size of prostate tumors, potentially leading to under-treatment.

The study authors found that such underestimation occurs most often when the MRI-measured tumor size is small and the PI-RADS score, which is used to classify lesions in prostate MRI analysis, is low.

For prostate tumor treatments to be successful, both the MRI sizing and PI-RADS score must be accurate, as doctors can pinpoint where tumors end and where normal, healthy tissue begins around them.


MRI is widely used to diagnose and treat prostate cancer. It’s also increasingly used as a means to map and control the delivery of new, highly focused therapies that use freezing (cryotherapy), ultrasound (HIFU), and heat (laser ablation) to destroy cancerous tissues in the prostate while protecting healthy tissue .


The researchers compared the MRI-measured tumor size with the actual tumor size after prostate removal in 441 men treated for prostate cancer.

A hit

Improving the ability to better predict ablation margins enables more successful treatments for men with prostate cancer and may help reduce the morbidity of prostate cancer treatment.


University of California Los Angeles Health Sciences

Journal reference:

A. Pooli et al. (2021) Prediction of the pathological tumor size in prostate cancer based on multiparametric prostate magnetic resonance imaging and preoperative findings. Journal of Urology. doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001389.

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