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Prostate Cancer

  • New Technology - Improves Biopsies

New Technology Improves Accuracy of Prostate Biopsies

A new technology that dramatically increases the accuracy of prostate cancer biopsies is now available at MidMichigan Health. The UroNav Fusion Biopsy System blends Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) with real-time ultrasound images to produce an accurate, clear map of the prostate. The unique technology has been used by physicians at Michigan Medicine the past two years.

"Our partners at Michigan Medicine were instrumental in establishing prostate MRI and the UroNav System here in Midland," said Radiologist Lindsay Zeeb, M.D. "They were a tremendous help at optimizing the prostate MRI images so that they are at the highest quality."

The process starts with the MRI. Dr. Zeeb said new and better MRI technques, developed only in the last couple of years, led to the use of MRI for detecting areas of concern. "Previously, we didn't have a great way of finding prostate cancer with imaging," she said. Dr. Zeeb reviews and interprets the images and if a suspicious lesion or area of concern is noted, a biopsy may be the next step. MRI is also reassuring for patients if it is negative or benign.

"It's a game changer," said Urologist Karla Witzke, D.O., of MidMichigan Physicians Group. "It's going to change how we monitor men's health. It's pivotal for active surveillance. With the UroNav, along with PSA, we can monitor patients who have low-grade cancer and make better treatment decisions." She said the UroNav system works best for men who have had other biopsies that were negative but who have continued to have an elevated PSA.

Dr. Witzke said the UroNav system also helps find areas of concern that are located outside of the view of a tradition ultra sound. "Before, using a standard template, we were imaging the backside of the prostate," Dr. Witzke said. "This technology shows the total prostate in detail. When we have a better idea of what it looks like before surgery, we can do better pre-surgery planning."

The added clarity provided by the UroNav allows the provider to pinpoint the spot at which to take a biopsy. This precision helps eliminate the need for multiple random biopsies. With a conventional biopsy, the needle often passes through tumor-free areas of the prostate potentially missing the tumor entirely. "This technology also helps us better identify those cancers that are more likely to grow quickly and spread to other parts of the body," continued Dr. Zeeb.

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