A new Radiology Journal study showed that VERDICT MRI-based analysis could significantly improve prostate cancer lesion characterization, and might solve PCa screening’s unnecessary biopsy problem.
Before we jump into the study… VERDICT MRI (Vascular, Extracellular, and Restricted Diffusion for Cytometry in Tumor) is a novel diffusion MRI modeling technique that estimates microstructural tissue properties, and has shown promise for cancer diagnosis and assessments. It can also be performed using standard 3T MRI exams.
The UK-based researchers had 165 men with suspected prostate cancer undergo mpMRI and VERDICT MRI (73 later confirmed w/ significant PCa). Over the 3.5yr study, they found that VERDICT MRI-based ‘lesion fractional intracellular’ volumes (FICs) have significant characterization advantages versus mpMRI-based apparent diffusion coefficient and PSA density measurements (ADC & PSAD):
- VERDICT MRI-based FICs classified clinically significant prostate cancer lesions far more accurately than ADC and PSAD (AUCs: 0.96 vs. 0.85 & 0.74).
- VERDICT-based FICs also clearly differentiated clinically insignificant and significant prostate cancer among the study’s Likert 3 lesions (median FICs: 0.53 & 0.18) and Likert 4 lesions (median FICs: 0.60 & 0.28), while ADC and PSAD measurements couldn’t be used to show which of these lesions would be cancerous.
Noting that up to 50% of men with positive PI-RADS scores or >3 Likert scores end up with negative biopsy results, these findings suggest that VERDICT MRI could reduce unnecessary prostate biopsies by a whopping 90%.
That makes this study a “massive leap forward” for prostate cancer diagnostics, and provides enough evidence to make VERDICT MRI just one successful large multi-center trial away from clinical adoption.