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Detecting prostate cancer with Fusion Guided Biopsies

Published 06/08/2018

Dr. Joseph Renzulli

The daVinci system isn’t the only advanced technology tool used to treat cancer at South County Hospital. Fusion guided biopsies are providing more accurate results with fewer invasive procedures when prostate cancer is suspected.

“Through a blood sample, if a patient’s PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) level comes back elevated, an indicator that cancer may be present, the next step in the diagnosis is to biopsy the affected area,” Dr. Renzulli said.

Without the fusion guided technology, he said, physicians would take tissue samples from the general area of concern, hoping that of the many samples taken, some would be of the abnormal lesion.

“With fusion guided biopsy, a patient will get an MRI and have the scans reviewed by a radiologist who marks areas that appear to be cancerous. Then the patient returns for an outpatient procedure that uses an ultrasound probe to get an internal view of the suspected area. Using specialized fusion software, the MRI image is overlaid with the real time ultrasound, resulting in a highly detailed combination of a 3D ultrasound and MRI image,” Dr. Renzulli said.

By viewing these detailed images, doctors can readily identify areas of concern and guide the biopsy needles to the precise area from which to draw tissue samples, rather than taking many samples from a more general area.

The procedure has been compared to using a GPS to reach your destination rather than driving around without directions.

An estimated 700,000 men with elevated PSA levels undergo repeat prostate biopsies. With the fusion guided biopsy procedure used at South County Hospital, doctors will get the information they need the first time, reducing the number of repeat biopsies on patients.

For more information on South County Hospital’s fusion guided biopsies, or to schedule an appointment, contact South County Urology, 70 Kenyon Ave., Suite 324, Wakefield, RI, 401-788-8780.