Previously, there have been several claims that contrast-enhanced ultrasound targeted biopsy are more effective with the addition of a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor such as dutasteride. It is believed that the substance helps increase the microvessel density in prostate cancer, thereby allowing for easier detection.
However, a group of researchers at Jefferson University Hospitals found such claims to be inaccurate. Led by Ethan J. Halpern, MD, the team conducted a randomized, double-blind trial with 272 participants all in all. The findings revealed no significant association between dutasteride therapy and enhanced prostate cancer detection.
The team employed both direct targeted biopsy and systematic biopsy, with each using up to six and twelve tissues cores respectively. By way of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, Halpern and his colleagues were able to observe that pre-contrast imaging and contrast-enhanced ultrasound showed a much-improved diagnostic accuracy. Similar improvements were also seen in the detection of high-grade prostate cancer.
According to the researchers, the efficacy of contrast-enhanced ultrasound demonstrated in their study affirms its high suitability as a screening technique. They went on to note that the imaging technique increases the cost to the biopsy procedure but may be a reasonable tradeoff. After all, it’s more cost-effective than undergoing treatment for clinically insignificant prostate cancer.