Nano-MRI gives hope to prostate cancer patients

Barentsz , Jelle

The Radboudumc Prostate MR Reference Center has treated the first patient with a special nano-fluid, which makes small metastases (2mm) in lymph nodes visible. For patients, this is a big step forward in determining the spread of their disease. Currently this is not possible with any other technique; Radboudumc is the only hospital  worldwide where this technique is applied. 

Discovering small metastases with current diagnosis is very difficult: research has shown that 70 percent of the metastases, which are smaller than 8 millimeters, are not found with conventional CT or MRI scans. These metastases are missed with laparoscopy in 40 percent of the patients and in more than 50 percent of cases fall out of the standard radiation field. 

Focused treatment
Prof . Dr. Jelle Barentsz, Dept of Radiology : "With the nano - fluid and our special MRI technique we see metastases as a white light like a flashlight in the dark, whilst the healthy nodes are black. For patients, this is a big step forward . If we can locate the cancer more precisely, we can apply more focused treatment".  

Education and research
The Radboudumc Prostate MR Reference Centre will develop a training program for other hospitals.  Research using  nano-MRI for other cancers has started.

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