Translational Medicine

Faculty of Medicine | Lund University

New imaging method can be useful in the validation of prostate cancer treatments


The use of Automated Bone Scan Index on prostate cancer is a new concept that could facilitate the validation of drugs. Promising results for this method are presented in a new thesis from Lund University.

Porträttfoto av Aseem Undvall Anand.

The rapid development in technology has made it easier to produce and process high-quality medical images. As a consequence is also the interpretation and the analyses in need of development.

However, in the field of prostate cancer manual methods, including professionals in radiology and nuclear medicine, still rules. This limits the potential of advanced imaging concepts since it is too slow and expensive. In addition it leads to subjective measurements complicating the development of standards to be used in the clinical environment and the life science industry.

Aseem Undvall Anand, Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Science at The Department of Translational Medicine at Lund University, has recently defended his thesis on an automated concept for measuring tumors in the skeleton, Automated Bone Scan Index (BSI). The concept is based on Skeletal Scintigraphy.*

“Automated BSI can improve the validation of new drug candidates in the field of advanced prostate cancer. An advantage is the possibility to get a quicker response than today if a drug candidate is useful or not", he says.

The thesis’ results show that Automated Automated Bone Scan Index is:

  • Reliable with high reproducibility.
  • Useful and trustworthy in the detection of disease progress in patients under treatment.
  • Providing additional values to PSA and other blood based markers for prostate cancer in the prediction the survival rate.

According to Aseem Undvall Anand, the Automated BSI concept is most useful in the disease’s later stages, among castration resistant patients. Even though previous research confirms high reliability also in earlier stages, Undvall Anand stresses that the concept is not optimal for early detection of microscopic changes.

The studies included in the thesis are based on, among other things, computer simulations and 80 Swedish and Danish patients with prostate cancer diagnosis. A large U.S.-managed study, including Swedish researchers and patients, is scheduled to be published in the summer of 2017. In case of positive results, it may be the breakthrough paving the way for the use of Automated BSI in prostate cancer drug development, Aseem Undvall Anand thinks. He also points out a potential clinical use, in drug treatment follow-up.

Aseem Undvall Anand defended his thesis 3 March 2017. It is titled: ”Quantitative Imaging-Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer. Validation of Automated Bone Scan Index in the Context of Radiographic Disease Progression in Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer.”

Text: Björn Martinsson
Photo: Private
Illustration: Lund University



This illustration is an example of an Automated Bone Scan Index on
a prostate cancer patient. The red spots mark parts of the skeleton with
a high tumor burden.

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