Institute awarded $3.3M for prostate imaging study

Riverside Research Institute has been awarded a $3.3 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project combining ultrasound and MR methods for prostate cancer imaging.

The New York City-based institute has partnered with Rutgers University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and GE Global Research for the project, designed to develop technology to image suspected cancerous prostate tissue using a combination of information from MR acquired before the biopsy or treatment procedure and ultrasound acquired at the time of the procedure, said Riverside Research Institute.

Led by Ernest Feleppa, PhD, and fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the researchers will study ways to aid urologists in performing needle biopsies or undertaking focal treatment for prostate cancer, as Feleppa believes that “reliable imaging of prostate cancer using the methods being investigated would allow treatment to be limited to the cancerous region, which would be of great value in speeding recovery and improving quality of life for many treated prostate cancer patients.”

The combined imaging method will allow biopsy needles to be directed into suspicious tissue, while avoiding unnecessary sampling of non-cancerous tissue and limiting treatment to cancererous regions to spare healthy tissue, offered Feleppa and colleagues. Typical treatments can include surgery, radiation, cryoablation and high-intensity ultrasound in which the entire gland may be removed or destroyed by treatment.

The grant was funded under the NIH’s industrial-academic partnership program, which funds research that the Institute believes has the potential to move quickly from the research laboratory to patient care. The award accompanies a prior academic-industrial-partnership grant presented to Feleppa for the investigation of  ultrasound methods for guidance of focal high-intensity ultrasound therapy of prostate cancer, stated Riverside Research Institute.