“Yes and no. From a patient standpoint, there is increasing evidence that MRI fusion targeted biopsies can be more specific so it could potentially reduce the number of biopsies—not necessarily the frequency with which people may biopsy.
At USC, we used it a lot. We started using it for patients to determine whether they needed repeat biopsies or not. If it were available for patients who were an intermediate risk, a gray-zone PSA, I think it would be helpful. The challenge, for those of us in rural situations, is the availability. We have MRI machines, but it takes special software to do the MRI and fuse those images with our ultrasound equipment.
The literature shows there can be an advantage to it, but will that resource be available for rural practicing urologists is the question.
We talked about trying to get it in our practice—my former partner really pushed the hospital to obtain the software—but it hasn’t come to ground yet. We’re in a very high Medicaid population, so there are not a lot of extra resources. Conceptually, I am a proponent, but it is a challenge.”
Charles Best, MD