MR imaging and new contrast agent effective in diagnosing testicular cancer spread

May 05, 2003

MR imaging plus a new contrast agent (ferumoxtran-10, Combidex) is dramatically better than current techniques in determining if testicular cancer has spread, a new study indicates. The contrast agent is awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval.

Sixteen patients with proven testicular cancer had an MR examination without the new contrast media and a separate MR examination 24 hours after the contrast media had been injected to determine if their disease had spread into their lymph nodes, says Mukesh Harisinghani, MD, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The images were reviewed by two radiologists who indicated whether they believed the lymph nodes were benign or malignant. "The signal intensity of the lymph nodes, that is how bright the lymph nodes looked on the MR image, changed from light (before the contrast media was given) to dark (after the contrast media) for benign disease," says Dr. Harisinghani. The signal intensity was relatively unchanged for malignant lymph nodes, he says.

The radiologist's diagnosis was compared to the results of biopsy of the lymph nodes, and the MR images were 92 percent accurate in identifying malignant disease, says Dr. Harisinghani

"This new method of diagnosing metastases in testicular cancer patients is substantially better than using CT to image the lymph nodes and measure their size. While larger lymph nodes are suspicious, lymph nodes that haven't grown in size can also be hiding malignant disease," he says.

When this contrast agent is approved by the Food and Drug Administration it will change the way we evaluate these patients, adds Dr. Harisinghani.
-end-
Dr. Harisinghani will present the study May 5 during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Additional Contact Information:
Danica Laub (703) 858-4332
Keri Sperry (703) 858-4306
Press Room (619) 525-6536 (May 5-8)


American College of Radiology

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