Two very different populations are the latest to benefit from collaborations with the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai: children with a cancer predisposition syndrome called neurofibromatosis and men with prostate cancer.
A pilot study is using MRI of pediatric patients to screen for markers that can predict cancerous tumors as well as benign tumors capable of malignant transformation. When combined with AI/machine-learning algorithms informed by both retrospective and prospective scans, investigators believe the technique could revolutionize proactive management and preventive interventions.
“With predisposition syndromes, it is often difficult to get a whole-body MRI paid for by insurance. We can do precise scans in about an hour as a valuable addition to both a patient’s record and the study and follow up with more detailed imaging if any masses are found.”
– Nicole Baca, MD
Across the Age (and Disease) Spectrum
Enhanced imaging techniques also offer hope for an improved standard of care among men with prostate cancer. Historically, prostate imaging has been an unreliable tool for detecting and tracking disease. With the recent advent of higher-resolution MRI developed at Cedars-Sinai—PSMA PET MRI—along with computer-aided AI/machine learning-based image analysis, clinicians can now pinpoint the location and characteristics of prostate tumors for consideration in focal therapy and longitudinal radiologic monitoring.
Together, these diverse applications of imaging science and AI/machine learning offer a glimpse into a future of accurate, early cancer prognostics and enhanced monitoring capabilities—no matter the diagnosis.
Pediatric patient Victoria Coats takes cancer in stride.