Investigators with the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that can provide information about the nature and aggressiveness of the cancer without having to perform a biopsy.
The team, led by Drs. Ivan Pedrosa and Jeffrey Cadeddu, co-authors of the study highlighted on the cover of The Journal of Urology, have developed multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) protocols that tell physicians with high confidence whether the tumor is aggressive or not. These protocols allow investigators to evaluate the chemical composition of the tumor without a biopsy. This composition allows doctors to infer what type of cancer it is.
The standardized diagnostic algorithm is largely based on the appearance of the renal mass on specific MRI images, namely T2-weighted images and those immediately after intravenous (IV) dye reaches the kidney. Other images are also used that indicate whether fat is present in the tumor. Based on the algorithm, physicians can recognize clear cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common and aggressive form of kidney cancer, with 80% confidence.
"Using mpMRI, doctors at UT Southwestern have a four-in-five chance of identifying clear cell cancer" said Dr. Pedrosa.