If you could pinpoint the location of cancerous cells or search aimlessly for them, which would you choose? With a device called Artemis, a new technology provided by prostate cancer specialist, Stephen Scionti, MD, a targeted prostate biopsy is now attainable.
With better diagnostic technology, such as the Artemis, prostate cancer treatment can be tailored to meet the severity of the disease, especially useful when treating patients with an elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen). Routine prostate screenings are recommended for men over the age of 50. As Dr. Scionti states, “PSA estimates the risk of cancer, however it does not tell a patient if he has cancer or how aggressive a cancer may be. The Artemis will confirm if a biopsy is necessary, and if so, enable the physician to precisely target the areas of the potential cancer.”
The Artemis technology fuses 3-D ultrasound with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) prostate images. This fusion of images greatly enhances prostate examination and biopsy sampling, by providing a 3-D prostate map showing precise details of the size, location, and shape of any suspected tumors. With this information, a more targeted biopsy may be performed. “I like to call this a ‘smart’ vs. ‘blind’ biopsy,” states Dr. Scionti. Standard biopsy procedures typically require 10-14 biopsy samples scattered throughout the prostate gland. “The standard procedure is random. It’s a needle in a haystack approach. With the Artemis system, you know exactly where the problem is located. I can take fewer biopsy samples because I can ‘see’ the precise area of suspicion,” explains Dr. Scionti.
Prostate cancer is very specific to the patient. “No two patients have exactly the same disease, so I do not take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to treatment. Why take the chance of under-treating an aggressive tumor, or over-treating a low-risk one?”
Currently, Dr. Scionti’s practice, located at the Mass Bay Division of Greater Boston Urology, 100 Highland Street in Milton, is the only practice offering the Artemis technology on the entire east coast of the United States.