Transgenic mouse models of prostate cancer provide an opportunity to conduct genetic tests of the molecular mechanisms underlying initiation and progression of tumorigenesis. They also allow assessment of the effects of various pharmacological interventions. However, one limitation that has impeded full exploitation of these models is the lack of in vivo imaging procedures of sufficient sensitivity and resolution to detect and follow tumors at early stages of growth. We have addressed this problem through the use of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI). A transgenic mouse model (CR2-TAg) of prostate cancer was used to show that DWI can detect tumors <1 mm in diameter. Markedly enhanced DWI contrast results from a 2-fold difference in apparent diffusion coefficient between benign and malignant prostatic tissue (P < 0.00001). Clinical application of DWI may offer advantages over current T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1558
Number of pages4
JournalCancer research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002


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