With Help from a Robot, a Better Prostate Biopsy
|SPEAKING OF BETTER PROSTATE BIOPSIES:
During your basic prostate biopsy a physician, guided by
transrectal ultrasound, uses a needle to take core samples
of tissue throughout the prostate.
"Although several biopsy templates have been proposed,
it is unknown how accurately biopsy samples are obtained
by a physician," says Brady urologist Misop Han, M.D.
In a recent study using a biopsy simulation system, Han
and scientist Dan Stoianovici, Ph.D., compared humans
and robots. Specifically, they asked, who's better at
performing an accurate and reliable biopsy:
Experienced urologists or a newly developed robot?
This study will be published in the Journal of Urology. "
We found that urologists did worse biopsies compared to
the robot," says Han.
"The biopsied samples obtained by urologists were often
clustered and missed some portions of the prostate.
Meanwhile, the robot closely followed the assigned
biopsy template. Most importantly, we found that the
robot most likely will detect more prostate cancer
than experienced urologists." Han believes that robotic
assistance, along with a better biopsy template, has the
potential to improve the accuracy and reliability of prostate
biopsy in the future. The scientists plan to perform a clinical
study to test and confirm their theory.
Nobody loves prostate biopsies – certainly not the men getting them, but the doctors who perform them know that despite their best efforts to sample the entire prostate, they may miss cancer.
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