A Multiparametric MRI for the Classification and Grading of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common diseases in men worldwide, however only a small percentage of men with prostate cancer have aggressive cancer, and most men diagnosed with focal disease have indolent disease with low risk of progression compared to the risks associated with treatment. There is a current, pressing need to differentiate between aggressive and indolent prostate cancers in ways that are minimally invasive and not damaging to patients. This dissertation proposes the multiparametric MRI of the prostate, with its inherent non-invasive technique void of harmful radiation, as a solution. However, the current multiparametric MRI of the prostate is not widespread, due to lingering artifacts and ambiguous results in some acquisitions. In this work, we provide improvements to pulse sequence software, acquisition hardware, and image-processing software for the multiparametric MRI of the prostate. Additionally, we introduce hyperpolarized carbon-13 imaging in patients as part of a phase 2 clinical trial, with the unique ability to quantify tissue energetics as a signature of prostate cancer’s abnormal metabolism.