New imaging technologies involving MRI are emerging that are helping urologists more accurately target prostate cancer lesions in men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Over the past couple of years MRIs have become more refined, allowing for more accurate diagnoses of malignant tumors. Now, MRI is able to be fused with other new devices with real-time imaging produced by ultrasound. As a result, doctors are able to perform a biopsy with direct guidance of the needle to the suspicious lesion. The procedure is called a fusion biopsy.
According to Dr. David Samadi at the David Samadi Prostate Cancer Center in New York, “The MRI guided fusion biopsy allows for more accuracy, less repeat biopsies, and less pain. It is expected to eventually become standard of practice.” The MRI guided fusion biopsy is available at Dr. Samadi’s practice in New York. The device, called UroNav, fuses pre-biopsy MR images of the prostate with ultrasound-guided biopsy images in real time, for excellent imaging of the prostate and suspicious lesions.
After a patient has undergone a prostate MRI, the images are sent to radiology to evaluate suspicious lesions. The UroNav fusion biopsy system uses this critical diagnostic information to provide skilled urologists with a targeted approach to prostate biopsy. The fusion of MR and ultrasound images through UroNav gives urologists the ability to offer their patients an alternative to remaining in an uncertain state of diagnosis after a prostate exam.
The MRI-guided fusion procedure has proven to be very effective among men who have had PSA blood tests that indicate they are at risk for prostate cancer but who have had a traditional biopsy that missed the cancer. Every year, about 20 million PSA tests are performed and about 1.2 million men undergo a biopsy. Traditional techniques such as the TRUS biopsy only sample the lower portion of the prostate – yet almost 30% of cancers are found outside this area. For this reason, only 30-40% of the 1.2 million biopsies performed on men each year are positive for prostate cancer.
The MRI fusion guided prostate biopsy plays a valuable role in evaluating low risk patients with active surveillance, as a way to follow up or monitor any change in their clinical status. The MRI fusion guided biopsy can also identify more aggressive cancers which need to be removed quickly in order to spare a patient’s quality of life and prevent metastasis.
Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men and the second-leading cause of cancer death in this population. About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.