As I write this, I’m preparing to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). As a radiologist who specializes in detection, diagnosis and focal treatment of prostate cancer, my work and that of urologists overlaps considerably. I have previously written about my commitment to professional collaboration between medical specialties, and I believe that urologists and radiologists not only benefit from collegial dialogue, but also we ultimately serve patients best when we learn from each other.
I took an early look at the list of abstracts that were accepted for presentation at this year’s AUA conference in Orlando, FL. I’m excited at the number of papers that feature imaging methods of detection normally associated more with radiology than urology: T1 and T2 weighted MRI, Diffusion-Weighted MRI, Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI, MR Spectroscopy, PET/Choline scans, etc.
It’s a short conceptual distance from detection to diagnosis, and it’s encouraging to see abstracts MRI/ultrasound fusion to guide targeted biopsies. This tells me that bringing MRI into the urology practice means its advantages over ultrasound alone are becoming recognized. The fact that brilliant software exists to “marry” MRI with real-time ultrasound and convert the result into a 3D computer model of an individual’s prostate with suspicious areas identified means that urologists have a pragmatic map to help them target a biopsy.
Based on a list of abstracts, it’s hard to get a general sense of where AUA members stand regarding focal prostate cancer treatment. I noted some abstracts that pertain to focal treatment, I don’t want to weigh in until I’ve been able to digest everything there is to see and hear,
I plan to report more during and after the AUA. Stay tuned.