Karmanos Cancer Institute Now Offering New Technology to Detect Prostate Cancer


The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit today announced it is utilizing a new way to effectively diagnose and treat prostate cancer. Urology specialists at Karmanos have started using the UroNav Fusion Biopsy System, which fuses three dimensional MRI images of the prostate with live ultrasound images to precisely target prostate biopsies.

“An MRI is better at seeing tumors in the prostate,” says Dr. Michael Cher, professor and chair of Urology at Karmanos Cancer Institute. “MRI images are highly detailed, and our radiologists are experts at finding tumors on the images. Our urologists are also skilled at performing prostate biopsies using live ultrasound images. With this new MRI-ultrasound image fusion system, our urologists are able to biopsy suspicious MRI-detected areas while doing live ultrasound.”

Eligible candidates for the technology are men who have elevated PSA test results and have never had a prostate biopsy, or men diagnosed with a small amount of cancer who are considering active surveillance. The system also is used to detect tumor progression in men who have been on active surveillance for several years.

Patients typically have an MRI performed first, which takes about an hour. Radiologists then analyze the images and identify suspicious areas using a standardized scoring system. During biopsy, which occurs after the MRI, urologists import the MRI images digitally into the UroNav system where they are fused with the live ultrasound images captured during the biopsy procedure.

“Previously, we used ultrasound alone for biopsies, and the biopsies were distributed throughout the prostate in a systematic fashion. Now, with the fusion of the MRI and ultrasound images, we perform targeted biopsies of suspicious areas,” adds Dr. Cher. “We are better at finding cancers, and therefore better at determining the best treatment plan for each patient. This technology is huge for urology, we’re going to more accurately determine if the patient has cancer and how much cancer the patient has. We can give more personalized treatments tailored towards the patient based on more accurate diagnosis and staging.”

In related news, Karmanos today announced Lauren Lawrence has been promoted to vice president of the Karmanos Cancer Network, effective immediately. She will report to Dr. Justin Klamerus, president of Karmanos Cancer Hospital and Karmanos Cancer Network. Lawrence most recently served as executive director of Community-Based Programs at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and assumes her new leadership role for Karmanos’ network of 14 cancer centers throughout Michigan.

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Center employs over 1,000 staff, including 300 physicians and researchers from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and is one of 47 national comprehensive cancer centers in the United States.