GPS-like technology helps diagnose prostate tumors

May 3, 2013 by Delthia Ricks

The lead investigator of a way to obtain images of prostate tumors and accurately diagnose them said Thursday that the new technology is the medical equivalent of a global positioning system for the prostate gland.

North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health system only institution other than the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to use the new , Dr. Art Rastinehad of North Shore-LIJ said Thursday at a news conference.

Current biopsy testing relies on decades-old technology, which misses a vast number of cancers and delays treatment for many men, Rastinehad said.

"Biopsies have been performed the same way for the last 30 years," said Rastinehad, who noted the current technique involves a and .

If the cancer grows outside what can be seen on an ultrasound, the tumor can be missed, Rastinehad said, adding that standard technology evaluates less than half a percent of the .

He and his collaborators at the NIH have been testing a new system, which they helped to develop. It is loosely called a fusion biopsy, Rastinehad said, because it involves both MRI and ultrasound imaging.

Additionally, Rastinehad said, a so-called field generator, similar to a , is placed over a patient's hip to guide the entire biopsy process. The MRI and ultrasound images, meanwhile, are overlaid in real-time, providing a more comprehensive, multidimensional view of the gland.

"Our goal is to have a more image-based standard of care for biopsying prostate cancer, but we are still building a body of evidence," Rastinehad said.

Developed by Invivo, a division of Philips Healthcare, the entire system is called UroNav.

Rastinehad and his NIH colleagues have tested it on more than 900 men and think that it provides multiple advantages over the current standard. The approved the system for widespread use last month. More than 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually nationwide. About 30,000 men die of the disease.

Rich Bolton, 61, a retired financial executive, underwent a biopsy with the system in January as part of Rastinehad's research.

Bolton, who lives in Point Lookout, N.Y., said he had routine screenings for involving the prostate specific antigen blood test which on more than one occasion had come back with a high reading.

"I had been watching my PSA numbers starting back in December of 2007," Bolton said. "The numbers started to rise and I got a prostate biopsy and it came back negative.

"My PSA rose again in 2009," Bolton said. "I have a family member who is a urological surgeon in Kentucky and he was a bit concerned but made sure I stayed on top of it."

Bolton got a second biopsy-but that also came back negative.

His doctor put him on Proscar, a drug that could address a high PSA not due to cancer. But as time passed, the PSA remained high, which prompted his Garden City physician to recommend Rastinehad, whose research into precision imaging was gaining notoriety on Long Island.

Bolton's fusion revealed an advanced cancer.

"Dr. Rastinehad's instruments have GPS in them so he found the cancer," Bolton said.

"I am stage 4, but I probably wouldn't have known this for another couple of years."

"I had a full body scan and the cancer is really isolated. It's manageable," Bolton said. "They caught it late, but they caught it while it is treatable."

Explore further: PSA test valuable in predicting biopsy need, low-risk prostate cancer

Related Stories

PSA test valuable in predicting biopsy need, low-risk prostate cancer

October 21, 2011
The prostate-specific antigen test, commonly known as the PSA test, is valuable in predicting which men should have biopsies and which are likely to be diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, a Mayo Clinic study has found. ...

When rising PSA means prostate cancer is in patient's future

May 18, 2011
A man's rising PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level over several years – which had been seen as a possible warning sign of prostate cancer – has recently come under fire as a screening test because it sometimes ...

Doctors can now detect hard-to-diagnose prostate cancer

August 9, 2012
Researchers have successfully developed and tested a new prostate cancer screening method that uses the combined power of a novel drug therapy and changes in PSA levels over time to identify men with a high PSA who are more ...

Prostate cancer now detectable by imaging-guided biopsy

December 10, 2012
Ground-breaking research by a UCLA team of physicians and engineers demonstrates that prostate cancer can be diagnosed using image-guided targeted biopsy.

Recommended for you

Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors

July 25, 2017
A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and "chemo brain": a brisk walk.

Breaking the genetic resistance of lung cancer and melanoma

July 25, 2017
Researchers from Monash University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC, New York) have discovered why some cancers – particularly lung cancer and melanoma – are able to quickly develop deadly resistance ...

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified

July 24, 2017
A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists. The findings were published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment

July 24, 2017
New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent inhibits glioblastoma growth and radiation resistance

July 24, 2017
Glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor with dismal survival rates, even after treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. A small subpopulation of tumor cells—glioma stem cells—is responsible for glioblastoma's ...

No dye: Cancer patients' gray hair darkened on immune drugs

July 21, 2017
Cancer patients' gray hair unexpectedly turned youthfully dark while taking novel drugs, and it has doctors scratching their heads.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.