New Biopsy Method More Effective in Revealing Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Specialty Pharmacy Times, July/August 2014, Volume 5, Issue 4

A new imaging-guided targeted prostate biopsy method was found to be more effective than conventional ultrasound biopsies in revealing aggressive forms of cancer, according to the results of a recent study.

In the study, which appears in the May 19, 2014, issue of Urology, researchers from UCLA found that “blind” biopsies showing prostate cancers presumed to be low risk did not show the true extent of the cancer. The researchers examined 113 men in UCLA’s active surveillance program who were classified as having low-risk cancer based on conventional biopsies.

Using the targeted biopsy method, which combines magnetic resonance imaging with real-time ultrasound, a urologist was able to visualize and target lesions during the procedure. The process creates a virtual map of suspicious areas, which are then placed directly on an ultrasound image during the biopsy.

The researchers found that 36% of patients in the active surveillance program actually had more aggressive cancer than initially thought, which should result in a reevaluation of the criteria for active surveillance, according to the study.

“We are hesitant now to enroll men in active surveillance until they undergo targeted biopsy,” said study senior author Leonard Marks, MD, director of the UCLA active surveillance program, in a press release. “Fusion biopsy will tell us with much greater accuracy than conventional biopsy whether or not they have aggressive disease.”