Samir Taneja, MD., Director of Urologic Oncology is the Primary Investigator on a clinical trial in order to test Envisioneering Technologies’ new mechanical device called TargetScan, which preliminary tests indicate can improve doctors’ ability to detect cancer and could lead to more targeted treatments—reducing life-altering side effects like impotence and incontinence.
According to Dr. Taneja and his colleagues, what makes this technology different is that the system records exactly where a biopsy sample is taken to ensure accurate sampling of the entire gland. Dr. Taneja is currently in the process of reviewing this technology that could improve doctors’ ability to detect prostate cancer, and long term, could lead to more accurate prostate-sparing treatments.
Current prostate cancer tests have come under attack by patients and medical professionals frustrated with false negatives, inconclusive positives, and the confounding circumstance known as “watchful waiting.” Dr. Taneja and TargetScan are working on testing what physicians are describing as the first real advance in prostate cancer detection and treatment in more than a decade. For patients, this means doctors can better detect the cancer and thus determine the appropriate treatment options. Likewise, doctors can be assured of the accuracy of negative test results, preventing patients from undergoing multiple biopsies.
Long-term, Dr. Taneja and his colleagues believe that if they can determine exactly where cancer is located in the prostate they can offer patients less-invasive treatment options—attacking only the cancer, not the entire gland.
Current prostate biopsy procedures require urologists to hold and pivot a probe with one hand, while performing a needle biopsy with the other hand. The inherent variables with the current hand-held method can force doctors to miss potential cancers, producing false negatives, and require multiple biopsies once cancer is found to determine its extent.
TargetScan offers a stabilized probe combined with 3-D imaging so physicians can use computer technology to map out the entire prostate gland and record precisely where the biopsy is taken. The biopsies are then recorded so physicians know exactly what areas of the prostate were sampled—making the procedure reproducible and allowing physicians to better determine the extent of cancer.
Bottom line: doctors can obtain more-accurate biopsies in less time than with traditional equipment. With more reliable test results, physicians are effectively reducing the number of repeat biopsies when cancer is found and reducing the number of false negative biopsies.
With current technology, most physicians must remove the entire gland to treat cancer. With TargetScan, physicians could determine where the cancer is located within the prostate and only treat the area with cancer as a way to minimize side effects like impotence and incontinence.
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