Robert Meier, a 58-year-old high school art teacher from Visalia, enrolled in Marks' study after three prostate biopsies all came back negative for cancer despite climbing PSA levels.
In 2008, Meier tore his rotator cuff and as part of his pre-surgery exam, blood tests were done. His PSA was at six four or lower is considered normal. His doctor sent him to an urologist, who performed tests to rule out everything else that could be causing high PSA levels, including infection and an enlarged prostate. The doctor found nothing. Meanwhile Meier's PSA climbed to eight.
A biopsy was performed and was negative. Meier's PSA jumped to nine and yet another biopsy came back negative. When his PSA reached 11.7, another round of biopsies was ordered.
"These biopsies can be extremely painful and I was put in the hospital several times so they could be done under general anesthesia," Meier said. "It takes about a month to recover."
And like his PSA levels, Meier's anxiety was also rising. If he didn't have prostate cancer, why were his levels going up?
After a second opinion in Santa Barbara and months of being tested and treated with a medicine designed to shrink his prostate and lower PSA, Meier was referred to UCLA and Marks in 2011. By then his PSA was nearly 18, up more than 10 points in three years. An MRI revealed a prostate lesion and he underwent a biopsy using the Artemis device. He did have cancer, and it was aggressive.
"Dr. Marks told me that I had a cancer that could spread and it needed to come out now," Meier said. "He told me that at my relatively young age and the severity of the tumor, I had no choice."
Meier's prostate and 24 nearby lymph nodes were removed robotically at UCLA in February by Dr. Arnold Chin, assistant professor of urology. Follow up tests show that Meier is cancer free today.
"This program works,
|Contact: Kim Irwin|
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences