Changes in benign tissues next to prostate tumors may provide an early warning for patients at higher risk for biochemical recurrence after a radical prostatectomy, a study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions shows.
Biochemical recurrence, which is increasing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, can be used to predict which prostate cancer patients will develop local recurrence, distant metastases and death.
In a small sampling, image analysis of the adjacent tissue was a better predictor than the current standard for prognosis following the prostatectomy.
If preliminary findings are confirmed by further studies, they may help doctors decide sooner which patients need more follow-up therapies after surgery or should return for more regular monitoring.
“In a sense, this study is validating what a lot of people think regarding these cancers—that there is a field effect, as if the tumor has hard-to-see tentacles that can affect the patient and outcomes,” said Anant Madabhushi, the F. Alex Nason professor II of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve and leader of the research....