Thursday, September 27, 2007


Recent clinical research studies on a new imaging technology are demonstrating amazing results in detecting cancer without so much as breaking the skin. The technology, elastography, is mainly utilized through ultrasound but also is used in MRI. How does elastography work? Below is the best diagram I could find that best visually demonstrates how elastography works.


Recently, studies have demonstrated remarkable detection accuracy rates in thyroid, prostate, and breast cancer detection. Last year, a small breast cancer detection study involving 80 women accurately distinguished 100% of malignant tumors and 99% of non-malignant tumors. In another small preliminary study for detecting prostate cancer presented last month, elastography demonstrated excellent detection accuracy. The authors went so far as to state, "the cancer detection rate with real-time elastography was superior to the rates of other modalities..." This month a thyroid study conducted in Italy demonstrated encouraging results stating that elastography has "great potential" in certain tumor types.

Additionally, the costs for elastography are predicted to be remarkably less expensive then the cost for a typical biopsy today. The results will be almost immediate as well as you don't have to send tissue away for interpretation by a clinical pathologist.

For now, further research on a larger scale is being planned with hopes of demonstrating similar results. If the technology demonstrates the same accuracy level on a wider scale, many are predicting that biopsies will drastically be reduced which will result in less unnecessary invasive procedures, less time loss from work, and overall better care for patients.

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