Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute has announced that it is now offering a new method to biopsy suspected prostate tumors by fusing MRI images of the gland with information derived through transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). The procedure provides for a much more efficient and effective manner to localize and determine clinically significant, high-grade tumors in the prostate.
For the last 20 years, TRUS has been the mainstay in the diagnosis of prostate malignancies in what has been labeled by many clinicians as a “blind” procedure.
“Specific lesions of the prostate, especially very small ones, cannot always be captured by ultrasound due to its poor resolution,” said David Taub, MD, MBA, FACS, a urologist at the Lynn Cancer Institute who specializes in the treatment of malignancies of the prostate, kidney and bladder. “Moreover, ultrasound targets the peripheral areas of the gland and can miss a material percentage of cancers located in the front, midline and top portions of it.”
With the MRI/TRUS fusion technique, a patient who has been identified as having elevated PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) values first undergoes an MRI scan of the prostate, which is much more effective in revealing details in soft tissue. Radiologists then review the scans and identify suspicious areas.
Later, in an outpatient procedure, as an ultrasound probe is used to examine the prostate, special software is employed to overlay the MRI images, which in turn provides detailed, 3D views of the gland. These fused images guide the placement of biopsy needles with exquisite precision. “I liken the utilization of the technology to using a GPS to reach your destination rather than going with an old-fashioned map,” said Dr. Taub.
According to Dr. Taub, the MRI/TRUS fusion biopsy provides a host of patient/clinician benefits that include:
- Excellent diagnostic option for patients with rising PSA values yet previous negative biopsy
- Improved radiation treatment plans for patients requiring therapy
- More precise information for treatment planning and yielding better functional results following surgical and radiation therapy
- Reducing the number of repeat biopsies for men with troublesome PSAs
- Reducing the number of biopsies for men with small, slow-growing lesions who are in “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance” protocols
- Improved sensitivity and specificity in identifying clinically significant lesions
“In the final analysis, MRI/TRUS fusion biopsy is better than conventional approaches in finding tumors we need to treat and allows us to pass on areas that we should not have to worry about,” said Dr. Taub. “This major improvement in our ability to detect and differentiate is what makes this procedure effective.”
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Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an advanced, tertiary medical center (BRRH.com) with 400 beds and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff. The Hospital is a recognized leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women’s health, emergency medicine and the neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a designated Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).