Wirral hospital becomes first to use innovative prostate cancer diagnosis system

Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) at Arrowe Park is the first Trust in the UK to use an innovative system to aid the diagnosis for patients with potential prostate cancer.

The state-of-the-art ExactVu ultrasound system is more likely to give a decisive result from the patient’s initial biopsy procedure, reducing the time taken to investigate and preventing them having to go through many further invasive procedures to reach a diagnosis.

This is because it provides high resolution, real-time imaging that enables more accurate targeting for biopsy of suspect areas of tissue within the prostate gland.

The new system uses an MRI image of the patient’s prostate which shows the abnormal areas of tissue and this is combined with the live ultrasound image, enabling the operator to precisely focus and take the samples needed for examination.

Without the accuracy provided by this system up to 25% of biopsies can potentially miss suspicious areas.

The new technology also means fewer samples are needed from the patient to make a diagnosis.

Mr Nigel Parr, Consultant Urologist at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “We are pleased to be the first hospital in the UK to have the ExactVu imaging system which aids in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. With 300 times greater resolution than the current generation of scanners, we can now precisely target small areas of tissue, so only 3 or 4 core samples are needed to identify whether the patient has a tumour and to determine if it is relatively slow growing or a more aggressive type.

“Without this technology, around 1 in 5 biopsies need repeating to confirm the correct diagnosis. Having greater accuracy in taking samples and needing fewer repeats means that patients can be diagnosed more quickly and managed appropriately at an earlier stage, which should mean a better outcome for them.”

Dr Nikki Stevenson, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, added, “The earlier a diagnosis of significant cancer can be made the far better this is for our patients.

“It is brilliant that we are using the latest technology so we can improve care for our patients and offer them a far better experience.”

The new system was funded by the Merseyside & West Cheshire Prostate Appeal. The appeal, to support minimally invasive treatments for prostate cancer, was set up by Mr Parr 14 years ago.

Image: Mr Nigel Parr, Consultant Urologist at Wirral University Teaching Hospital.

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