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New 3D Prostate Biopsy Combines MRI, Ultrasound

Artemis system (Eigen Inc.)

Artemis system (Eigen Inc.)

Researchers from the UCLA Health System in Los Angeles and medical device company Eigen Inc. have developed more targeted biopsies of prostate cancer that combine MRI and ultrasound technologies. The team reported its early results in the online issue of the journal  Urologic Oncology (subscription required).

National Cancer Institute estimates nearly 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported in the U.S. during 2010. The severity of the disease varies, however, with some cases requiring little or no treatment, much less surgery.

The new technology could help doctors better diagnose the condition and prescribe a more appropriate therapy. Men with previous negative biopsies by elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and  those with low-risk or slowly growing prostate cancers would most likely benefit from this advance.

The study, conducted in 2009-2010, involved 218 men between the ages of 35 and 87, all of whom received prostate biopsies. Of the 218, 47 men, who fell into one of the two categories described above, received prostate biopsies using MRI images combined with real-time ultrasound. These patients first received MRI scans of the prostate that assessed three components in detecting cancer: suspicious contrasts in tissue, abnormal cellular density, and unusual blood flow within the prostate.

The MRI prostate scans were reviewed by a radiologist, with the three components graded for cancer risk. A biomedical engineer,  using software created at UCLA, then generated a 3-D image of the 47 patients’ prostates, which showed the location of any suspicious areas.

The images were transferred to a CD, which was then loaded on an Artemis system made by Eigen Inc. (pictured above) that combines the 3D-MRI images with real-time ultrasound. The combined 3D-MRI/ultrasound images provided a more detailed and precise view of the prostate for the biopsies.

The remaining 171 patients did not receive an MRI, but received biopsies with the Artemis system that provided 3D ultrasound imaging. Compared to these enhanced but non-targeted biopsies, the targeted MRI/ultrasound method was still five times more likely to find cancer. Follow-up biopsies of suspicious sites were found to be accurate within a few millimeters.

Read more: Univ. Tests Ultrasound to Diagnose Prostate Cancer

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