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Targeted Prostate Cancer Biopsies Might Improve Care: Study
Date:12/10/2012

the cancerous areas are usually not visible. So, multiple biopsies are taken to try to 'find' the cancer, the procedure is usually repeated at some point when the PSA test continues to rise, insignificant cancers are detected as often as significant ones, there is always the fear that a cancer was missed, and there are risks of infection, pain and bleeding."

The UCLA team sought to determine if more targeted biopsy methods could change that. In the study, they actively monitored 171 men with slow-growing prostate cancers or those who had received negative biopsies but maintained persistently high PSA levels, suggesting that a tumor might be present.

The participants first had an MRI to visualize their prostate. That image was sent to a device, called Artemis, that fuses the MRI pictures with real-time, three-dimensional ultrasound. This fusion process allows a urologist to see lesions during the biopsy.

"With the Artemis, we have a virtual map of the suspicious areas placed directly onto the ultrasound image during the biopsy," noted Marks. "When you can see a lesion, you've got a major advantage of knowing what's really going on in the prostate. The results have been very dramatic, and the rate of cancer detection in these targeted biopsies is very high. We're finding a lot of tumors that hadn't been found before using conventional biopsies."

Fifty-three percent of the men involved in the study had prostate cancer, according to the study published online Dec. 10 in The Journal of Urology. Marks and his colleagues also found that 38 percent of the cancers found using targeted biopsy were aggressive tumors -- meaning they more likely to spread and require treatment.

Unlike conventional blind biopsies which can be painful and require men to be placed under general anesthesia and undergo lengthy recoveries, the targeted UCLA biopsies were performed in about 20 minutes in an outpatient clinic setting under local anesthesia, th
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