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New Technology Brings Together Ultrasound and MRI to Help Treat Prostate Cancer

May, 2015—The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is the first in the area to offer a new technology that will help in the detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer. Known as MRI ultrasound fusion biopsy, this cutting-edge advancement superimposes the MRI and ultrasound images to allow physicians to target the most suspicious parts of the prostate for biopsy.  

Any man who has an elevated PSA is strongly advised to have an MRI scan of the prostate, which has a very high chance of disclosing the location of the cancer, if cancer should exist, explains Gerald Andriole, MD, Washington University urological surgeon at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.

When patients then come to Dr. Andriole for a biopsy, this new advanced software technology allows him to fuse the images from the ultrasound he is conducting with the existing MRI images, thereby creating a more detailed map for the biopsy. “We’re really confident that when we do a fusion biopsy, that we are sampling the most suspicious parts of the prostate, based on the MRI,” he says. “This fusion of the MRI images and the ultrasound image in real time allows us to do biopsies fairly quickly and with every confidence that we’re biopsying the worst part of the prostate. This reduces the chance that the biopsy will miss cancer that’s there.” 

By comparison, standard ultrasound prostate biopsy as conventionally performed may miss up to half the cancers, since the biopsy cores are random, not targeted.

Dr. Andriole adds that further studies have shown that this technology can also enhance the accuracy of the biopsy in terms of the aggressiveness of the cancer.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gerald Andriole or any physician at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, click here or call 314-542-WEST (9378).

Click to view a video on MRI Fusion/Dr. Andriole.



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