Assessing prostate cancer aggressiveness using a new type of non-invasive imaging

In a nutshell

This project will use a new imaging technique, called hyperpolarized carbon-13 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), to determine how aggressive prostate cancer is in individual patients. This type of imaging involves injecting patients with a sugar-like compound that can be seen with an MRI scanner. Cancer cells and non-cancer cells break down sugars in different ways, so by using this new type of MRI to detect how the injected sugar is being processed, the scientists hope to be able to see where the cancer is in the prostate, and how aggressive it is.

Why we funded it

The methods we currently use to image the prostate cannot detect all cancers, and without a biopsy, it is very difficult to assess how aggressive the cancer is. This new imaging method with hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI is non-invasive, and may be able to give information about cancer aggressiveness. This has the potential to reduce the number of patients requiring a biopsy by excluding men with no signs of aggressive prostate cancer.

Grant information

Researcher - Dr Ferdia Gallagher
Institution - University of Cambridge
Grant award - £49,930.00
Reference - PA14-012