This technology was previously only present in Seattle and Portland in our region and is now an established part of our practice.
MRI Fusion biopsy has an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and management of localized prostate cancer. This tool is valuable for ruling out cancer, or detecting cancer, in patients with a rising PSA and previous negative biopsy. It also is important in detecting cancer burden if present, and counseling patients on their best prostate cancer treatment options. This tool is also important in verifying if a patient with prostate cancer is a good candidate for active surveillance of their cancer for low risk disease. Ask your provider more about this exciting new technology
MRI fusion works by having the patient first get a dedicated 3T MRI of the prostate. This is done locally and read by an expert radiologist training in reading prostate MRI, a relatively new technology. Once we have the MRI, we determine if there are any concerning areas of the prostate that need to be biopsied. If so, the MRI image can then be “fused” to the ultrasound performed in our office. This give the urologist a target that is overlapped with the ultrasound image to make sure that any areas of concern are not being missed with the biopsy. The biopsy itself is similar to a standard prostate biopsy in terms of length of the procedure, and does not lead to increased pain or complications. Prior to this technology we utilized “cognitive” fusion to compare the MRI images and then target the area of the prostate seen on the MRI, but this technology gives the urologist a GPS of sorts to make sure that we can precisely target any findings seen on the MRI. This technology has been shown in rigorous trials to increase diagnosis of significant cancers, and aid in decision making and this leads to better outcomes for the patient.