Diagnostic Center for Disease: Prostate biopsy spreads prostate cancer cells

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A routine prostate biopsy performed to evaluate for prostate cancer spreads cancer cells may be the reason that men have a recurrence of disease, many years after the prostate was removed successfully with clear surgical margins, according to study results released from the Diagnostic Center for Disease (DCD) in Sarasota, Fla.

A recent evaluation of data from patients with a positive 3.0 Tesla MRI spectroscopy (MRI -S) scan at the DCD found that 75 percent of biopsies performed yielded a cancer, allowing men without cancer to avoid a biopsy procedure. With MRI –S, the entire prostate was scanned which created a roadmap that allowed selective targeting of specific areas of interest for biopsy when indicated.

According to the results, in many cases, a biopsy was not recommended as no cancer was found. Furthermore, this methodology allows for fewer biopsies versus the 12-24 core biopsy approach or the saturation biopsy, thereby minimizing risk to the patient, according to the DCD.

In the event a lesion is isolated, a specific protocol is implemented to prevent cells from proliferating; in effect, causing cells to become weakened, disabled and die through a process called apoptosis, according to Ronald Wheeler, MD, medical director at DCD.

Wheeler said the center's success with the MRI-S scan is further magnified by de-selecting men with an elevated PSA who don't have prostate cancer but rather have prostatitis, a non-bacterial inflammatory disease, which he said is the primary reason PSA rises.

In these instances, he said the center's physicians encourage the use of an internationally patented formula to decrease and/or normalize the PSA in patients without evidence of prostate cancer.  While the literature suggests that all men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough, there is no reason to accelerate the process or undergo a premature biopsy, where the patient assumes all of the risk.

"Men who have an elevated PSA and want to avoid an unnecessary prostate biopsy now have an alternative to a blind biopsy," Wheeler said. “Additionally, men who want a second opinion when the previous biopsy was negative can now go to an imaging center dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis and treatment of prostate disease.”