In 2018, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and 29,430 will die due to the prostate cancer in the United States (Siegel et al., CA Cancer J Clin 67:7-30, 2018). Many men with prostate cancer are often managed with aggressive therapy including radiotherapy or surgery. No matter how expertly done, these therapies carry significant risk and morbidity to the patient's health related quality of life with impact on sexual, urinary and bowel function (Potosky et al., J Natl Cancer Inst 96:1358-1367, 2004). A recent meta-analysis of 19 studies reviewing the use of surgery and radiation for prostate cancer demonstrated patients who received radiation were more likely to die from their disease as compared to surgery (Wallis et al., Eur Urol 70:21-30, 2016). Furthermore, screening programs using prostatic specific antigen (PSA) and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided systematic biopsy have identified increasing numbers of low risk, low grade "localized" prostate cancer. This indolent nature of many prostate cancers presents a difficult decision of when to intervene given the possible comorbidities of aggressive treatment. Active surveillance has been increasingly instituted in order to balance cancer control versus treatment side effects (Jemal et al., CA Cancer J Clin 56:106-130, 2006). Although active debate continues on the suitability of focal or regional therapy for these low or intermediate risk prostate cancer patients, many unresolved issues remain which complicate this approach of management. Some of the largest unresolved issues are: prostate cancer multifocality, limitations of current biopsy strategies, suboptimal staging by accepted imaging modalities, less than robust prediction models for indolent prostate cancers and whether established curative therapies can be safely and effectively used following focal therapy for prostate cancer. In spite of these restrictions focal therapy continues to confront the current paradigm of therapy for low and even intermediate risk disease (Onik, Tech Vasc Interv Radiol 10:149-158, 2017). It has been proposed that early detection and proper characterization may play a role in preventing the development of metastatic disease (Vickers et al., BMJ 346:f2023, 2013). There is Level 1 evidence supporting detection and subsequent aggressive treatment of intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer (Bill-Axelson et al., N Engl J Med 370:932-942, 2014). Therefore accurate assessment of cancer risk (i.e. grade and stage) using imaging and targeted biopsy is critical. Advances in prostate imaging with MRI have been accompanied with advances in MR guided therapy propelling prostate treatment solutions forward faster than ever.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)