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Monitoring Tumor Volume in Patients With Prostate Cancer Undergoing Active Surveillance: Is MRI Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Indicative of Tumor Growth?


The purpose of this study was to measure longitudinal change in tumor volume of the dominant intraprostatic lesion and determine whether baseline apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and change in ADC are indicative of tumor growth in patients with prostate cancer undergoing active surveillance.The study group included 151 men (mean age, 68.1 ± 7.4 [SD] years; range, 50-83 years) undergoing active surveillance with 3D whole prostate, zonal, and tumor volumetric findings documented at endorectal MRI examinations performed at two time points (median interval, 1.9 years). Tumor (location confirmed at transrectal ultrasound or template biopsy) ADC was measured on the slice with the largest lesion. Twenty randomly selected patients had the measurements repeated by the same observer after a greater than 4-month interval, and the limits of agreement of measurements were calculated. Tumor volume increases greater than the upper limit of agreement were designated measurable growth, and their baseline ADCs and change in ADC were compared with those of tumors without measurable growth (independent-samples t test).Fifty-two (34.4%) tumors increased measurably in volume. Baseline ADC and tumor volume were negatively correlated (r = -0.42, p = 0.001). Baseline ADC values did not differ between those with and those without measurable growth (p = 0.06), but change in ADC was significantly different (-6.8% ± 12.3% for those with measurable growth vs 0.23% ± 10.1% for those without, p = 0.0005). Percentage change in tumor volume and percentage change in ADC were negatively correlated (r = -0.31, p = 0.0001). A 5.8% reduction in ADC indicated a measurable increase in tumor volume with 54.9% sensitivity and 77.0% specificity (AUC, 0.67).Tumor volume increased measurably in 34.4% of men after 2 years of active surveillance. Change in ADC may be used to identify tumors with measurable growth.