Prostate cancer, the battle of a close friend
Improving prostate cancer education for ourselves, our families, and our communities
As it is November, the month to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, I would like to share with you my story of how prostate cancer has impacted my life, this is a story where many others can relate to in one way or another, as there are 1.3 million men diagnosed every year with this type of cancer. (1)
In my case, the battle against prostate cancer at Quibim became very personal. Among the many prostate cancer patients with whom I have interacted is my best friend, David, who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. David is a 52-year-old male living in New York who leads a very active lifestyle, including regular participation in the NYC marathon. We have been best friends for 35 years, and like many people with prostate cancer, he showed no observable symptoms of the disease over the years.
I received a troubling call from David in which he told me that his doctors suspected he had prostate cancer. He then asked me for help in understanding the disease and obtaining an accurate diagnosis using Quibim’s AI tools. In Fact, from a clinical perspective, his case was an interesting one. Like most responsible middle-aged men, David was routinely screened via blood tests for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA is measured through a basic, affordable test to provide a high-level indicator for prostate cancer risk. While it is not perfect, the PSA blood test can lead a physician to order a noninvasive MRI exam when PSA levels are above a certain threshold and/or rising over time.
Although David’s PSA levels were normal, he tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer. In addition, his father had been diagnosed with aggressive cancer related to that specific mutation in the BRCA gene. Due to these factors, David was sent for an advanced MRI exam.
In David’s case, his initial Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam resulted in an equivocal finding, meaning the radiologists suspected but were still unsure whether aggressive cancer existed. For a patient like David, it is difficult to have an ambiguous finding related to cancer. This is the reason why he reached out to me for help.
He knew of Quibim’s expertise in extracting quantitative information that can support the physicians to assess suspicious regions of interest using our AI-based tool QP-Prostate®. We were fortunate to have a prominent hospital partner in the state of New York that was able to successfully process and analyze his exam using Quibim’s QP-Prostate® solution.
In our discussions and analysis of David’s MRI exam, we were able to more confidently diagnose that his prostate cancer was, in fact, an aggressive form that needed to be biopsied and treated. Shortly thereafter, David underwent surgery using the most advanced robotic surgical tools available on the market. Fortunately, the surgery was successful, and since then, there have been no further indications of his cancer, and Dave has not experienced any long-term side effects.
The second leading cause of cancer death
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the world. There have been many recent advances in medical technology to improve early detection, which is the key to the successful treatment of prostate cancer. Here at Quibim, we are helping to strengthen the MRI prostate analysis with our FDA-cleared solution QP-Prostate®.
Advances in MRI and its accuracy in detecting clinically significant cancer have created a better diagnostic pathway. The consequent growth in MRI prostate exams has translated into a higher workload demands for radiologists and urologists. That is why Quibim developed the QP-Prostate® solution to support physicians at each step of their workflow to save time and improve clinical accuracy in a wide range of ways:
- The suite automatically detects prostate anatomy to identify and segment each prostate region, as well as other areas defined in the PI-RADS guidelines.
- QP-Prostate® performs automated diffusion and perfusion analysis to extract clinically meaningful quantitative information from MRI exams that enables radiologists and urologists to detect aggressive cancer more accurately and to better isolate areas of the prostate with cancerous lesions.
- Additionally, the solution provides prostate MRI structured reports following PI-RADS v2.1 guidelines to reduce variability with unstructured reporting.
These features support urologists to accurately perform guided biopsies to improve the detection of tumors and help prevent unnecessary biopsies.
At Quibim, we are equipping radiologists with the power of AI to support the process of MRI analysis with quantitative information and automatic prostate segmentation helping urologists determine whether aggressive intervention is required.
If suspicious findings such as prostate cancer are detected in its early stages, it can be treated with more manageable side effects to patients. We hence encourage everyone to make sure to get your annual physical exam, ask about your PSA level, and understand the results.
Let’s support the Movember movement by getting better educated on prostate cancer for ourselves, our family, and our communities.
1. Prostate cancer statistics: World Cancer Research Fund International. WCRF International. (2021, May 25). From https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/prostate-cancer-statistics/.