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New Fusion Technology Increases Prostate Cancer Detection Accuracy to 97 Percent
Rush First in Chicago to Use Targeted Biopsy Approach

Urologists at Rush University Medical Center are the first in Chicago to offer a powerful new tool for visualizing and monitoring the prostate in men with high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels that aids in detecting prostate cancer more accurately.

The new technology combines or “fuses” magnetic resonance and ultrasound images using electromagnetic tracking/guidance, similar to your car’s GPS system. A tiny tracking sensor is attached to an ultrasound probe and generates a small, localized electromagnetic field that helps determine the location and orientation of the biopsy device. A sophisticated computer program maintains the fusion of MR and ultrasound images, even when a patient moves.

If necessary, physicians can make a precisely targeted biopsy or direct sampling of tissue in areas within the prostate that seem suspicious. Prostate biopsies currently are "blind," meaning physicians must randomly sample the prostate, an approach that has been in use since the 1980s.

“By fusing these MRI images with real-time ultrasound, prostate biopsy can now be targeted directly toward specific areas of interest in the prostate,” said Ajay Nehra, MD, chairman of urology at Rush University Medical Center.

The process involves a 20-minute procedure done in the clinic under local anesthesia, compared with the less accurate and older method of prostate biopsy. Many men require multiple biopsies to make sure that all potentially cancerous areas are identified. This technology eliminates the need for multiple biopsies, at times up to 21.

“This is a new way of identifying and specifically targeting suspicious prostate lesions," Nehra said. "We believe it may have the potential to be a new standard in prostate care."

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