A dedicated and passionate Professor Doug Brooks from the University of South Australia’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences is making inroads in prostate cancer research, which has the potential to improve the way men are managed when diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) is proud to have made a significant contribution, with the University of South Australia (UniSA), towards the purchase of a 3D Histech Panoramic confocal scanner, which will assist Prof Brooks and his team in imaging prostate cancer using a high-tech system.

The new histology technique (the study of cells in body tissue) and 3D scanner have the potential to confirm if a man has prostate cancer and also if it’s benign or aggressive, something that is currently difficult to determine and can lead to inaccurate results.

Prostate cancer can be detected by a blood PSA test, however it is not always accurate. In addition, doctors are unable to confirm from PSA levels how aggressive the cancer is, and this often results in radical treatments, which may not be necessary. This understandably creates an enormous amount of stress and uncertainty for the patient and their loved ones, which they shouldn’t have to experience.

“The 3D scanner will help us to change the way men are managed with prostate cancer and help eliminate the chances of misdiagnosis through PSA levels,” Prof Brooks said.

“This scanner will be used to confirm the diagnosis and to visualise the size and structure of the cancer, and see if it is an aggressive cancer, enabling doctors to choose the correct treatment method for the individual patient.

This vital research would not be possible without this state-of-the-art imaging machine, taking approximately 40,000 images per tissue sample that is then pieced together to produce a very high quality image. This machine will allow Prof Brooks to develop these new methods for prostate cancer patients, enabling better detection and disease prediction.

“This technology enables us to be one step closer to better diagnosis and treatment methods for men suffering prostate cancer, which is an urgent need” Prof Brooks said.

“A specific infrastructure requirement was identified that would boost our imaging capacity, so thanks to the generosity of THRF and their public supporters, the equipment can now be used to facilitate the technology development in a pre-clinical study, ready for use in clinical settings,” Prof Brooks said.

Around 1,000 tissue samples from both Ireland and Adelaide will be scanned using this machine, enabling Prof Brooks to complete this pre-clinical study in the next six months to validate his claims that this machine and the technology can be used to help prostate cancer patients.

“Although these new imaging technologies have specific applications for prostate cancer, the technology will be applied to other cancers, giving this project wider potential in cancer imaging.”

It is because of your support that Prof Brooks and his team will change the way clinicians and doctors diagnose and treat men suffering from prostate cancer, giving them accurate information to improve their outcomes and ultimately save lives.

Would you like to support vital research like Prof Brooks' today?

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