UTSW teams exceed 1,000 targeted prostate biopsies


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Fusion biopsy device (right) connected to a ultrasound machine (left) allows physicians to see suspicious areas detected with MRI during the ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate.
Specialized teams in the UT Southwestern Urology and Radiology departments have, together, performed more than 1,000 targeted prostate biopsies using new fusion technology that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). This milestone is significant because the procedure, which has proven to be more effective than standard biopsy in detecting high-risk cancer, has rarely been done as frequently at a single center in the United States.

“UT Southwestern is the only provider in North Texas systematically doing this fusion biopsy as it requires effective and continuous cooperation between radiology and urology and a shared network to exchange images,” says Claus Roehrborn, M.D., Chair and Professor of Urology. “The close collaboration we have in place enhances both our productivity and the outcomes for our patients.”

Conventionally, prostate cancer has been diagnosed by random biopsies of the prostate in men with elevated PSA values. With the MRI-TRUS fusion biopsy, once the urologist identifies a patient at risk for prostate cancer, radiologists use a state-of-the-art MRI examination to determine if there are suspicious areas. If those are present, the MRI images are sent to a device that blends them with the ultrasound used by the urologist, and the biopsy is done in that precisely targeted area.

“In many instances, MRI-TRUS biopsies we’ve performed have allowed us to diagnose and treat aggressive prostate cancer in patients whose prior biopsies failed to find the cancer,” says Ivan Pedrosa, M.D., Associate Professor of Radiology and Chief of MRI at UT Southwestern. “Because of the targeted biopsy’s improved precision, patients and physicians are better informed to choose the most appropriate treatment. This helps to avoid surgery in patients with less aggressive disease and ensures that patients with more aggressive cancers are identified earlier.”

The safety and effectiveness of the MRI-TRUS fusion biopsy have been studied in clinical trials at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

To refer a patient or consult with Dr. Roehrborn or Dr. Pedrosa, call 214-645-8300.

Physician Referral Information

UT Southwestern physicians offer consultations and treatment in more than 60 subspecialties. Recognizing that navigating through the many programs and resources at UT Southwestern can be challenging, the University established Patient and Physician Referral Services to assist external physicians and their staff with securing patient appointments. Offices may call one centralized phone number to schedule a consultation in any clinic or to fax patient records related to a referral. The UT Southwestern referral coordinator will work closely with the appropriate physician or clinic to coordinate the patient’s appointment, as well as contact the patient and referring physician’s office with the appointment details.
Call a coordinator today at 214-645-8300