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Holy Family Hospital is the first hospital in the Merrimack Valley to offer this advanced technology which creates high-definition 3D color images to accurately target abnormal tissue during ultrasound-guided biopsy.

Holy Family Hospital now offers patients cutting edge technology for more accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer.

This new technology, called multiparametric MRI fusion biopsy (mpMRI) takes images from a pre-exam MRI of the prostate, and fuses them with real-time ultrasound images, creating high-definition 3D color pictures that enable physicians to accurately find abnormal tissue during an ultrasound-guided biopsy.

“Multiparametric fusion biopsy is an advanced technology for prostate cancer screening, diagnosis, and active surveillance of prostate cancer,” says Board Certified Urologic Surgeon Liam Hurley, MD.

In the past, men with elevated PSA levels were monitored by urologists, and if levels remained elevated or continued to rise, they were sent for multiple random biopsies of prostate tissue.

Biopsies were random because physicians could not see the specific location of abnormal tissue. As a result some patients received negative biopsy results, yet PSA levels remained elevated or continued to rise.

According to Dr. Hurley, each year 1.3 million biopsies are performed to diagnose 240,000 cases of prostate cancer, and 25 percent of those biopsies have a false negative result, meaning the patient had cancer, but it was not found.

During a random biopsy, multiple biopsies are performed to diagnose these missed cancers, and historically, eight to nine percent of those patients develop complications.

“The use of mpMRI fusion biopsy will diminish the amount of unnecessary biopsies, and at the same time, find more significant cancer earlier. Holy Family Hospital is at the forefront in starting this new program of advanced technology,” says Dr. Hurley.

Urologic Surgeon Dr. Christopher Ip agrees.

“I tell my patients that with the MRI studies we are less likely to miss a clinically significant prostate cancer,” says Dr. Ip. “MRI ultrasound fusion biopsy combines advances in prostate imaging with traditional trans-rectal ultrasound, for a targeted and more accurate ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate.”

Joseph Fonte, MD, chairman of Holy Family Hospital’s Radiology Department, believes this new technology will help with early detection of prostate cancer as well as other cancers such as bladder and rectal cancer.

The entire scan takes approximately a half hour. When complete patients go home and await their results.  

Dr. Fonte believes this state-of-the-art technology will cut false negative results by 90 to 95 percent.

Holy Family Hospital invested in the cutting-edge technology because early detection of prostate cancer means better outcomes for patients.

“This technology offers physicians and patients a highly accurate method for detection of prostate cancers, which in the past have been missed. Earlier detection of prostate cancer is important because the earlier it is detected, the better the outcome for our patients,” says Craig Jesiolowski, FACHE, President of Holy Family Hospital, which just announced that it is one of just 44 hospital’s nationwide, and the only hospital in the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire region, to earn the prestigious 2017 Top General Hospital Award from The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization that grades hospitals based on national standards of quality and safety.

“Holy Family Hospital’s commitment to high quality care and the safety of patients played a major role in the achievement of this highly competitive Top Hospital designation,” says Jesiolowski. “I could not be more proud of our team, whose hard work, dedication and attention to detail has made the care at Holy Family Hospital the best in the region.”