The Polyclinic is the first health care organization in the state to offer a new robotic-assisted imaging and navigation system that vastly improves the accuracy of prostate biopsies. The Artemis device is a new targeted biopsy method that fuses MRI and ultrasound images to provide urologists with a detailed 3-D image of the prostate showing the exact location and size of tumors or suspicious tissue. This allows physicians to better target areas for biopsy and more accurately diagnose prostate cancer, stage the disease, and provide the best course of treatment and follow-up care. The Artemis device’s robotic-assisted arm enables physicians to pinpoint the precise locations of earlier biopsy sites when needed.
Traditional biopsies, also referred to as blind biopsies, are performed with ultrasound imaging. While ultrasound can show the location of the prostate it can’t clearly show tumors or suspicious lesions. If prostate cancer is suspected, the urologist would typically use a thin needle—and his best judgement—to collect biopsy samples from various locations throughout the prostate gland. This standard method of biopsy is highly variable and can result in missed cancers or the inability to determine the extent of a patient’s cancer. As a result, it’s been a challenge to diagnose prostate cancer and also to determine which patients need immediate treatment and which don’t.
With traditional biopsy methods, nearly 40 percent of prostate cancers are missed and many very low-risk cancers are over-treated. Almost half of all prostate cancers are low risk, slow growing tumors that can be managed with ongoing testing and surveillance rather than immediate invasive treatment that can carry serious risks including incontinence or impotence.
“The Artemis device delivers a detailed image of the prostate and any suspected tumors by taking a stored MRI scan of the prostate that is combined or fused with the ultrasound image during biopsy,” said Dr. Joseph Marquez, a urologist at The Polyclinic who recently introduced the device to his practice. “Together, these images very clearly show the prostate in three dimensions so we can examine all angles of the prostate and any tumors, lesions, or areas of interest. This method is far superior in accurately diagnosing cancer as well as in managing cases of low risk cancers that require only active surveillance.”
Unlike ultrasound for prostate biopsies, the Artemis device also records all of the 3-D images, including the exact locations of biopsy samples. This gives the urologist the full documented history of a patient’s exams so the doctor can later return to the same biopsy locations to track any changes and take additional samples if needed.
Dr. Marquez explains the advantages of the Artemis device in the video below: