Wellstar patients will be among the first in Georgia to benefit from a new, FDA-approved imaging technology that detects the extent of prostate cancer earlier and with greater accuracy than current imaging methods.
This diagnostic agent called PYLARIFY (piflufolastat F 18) is given to patients as an injection. Once it is in the body, it binds to PSMA, or Prostate Specific Membrane Antigens. Prostate cancer cells usually have a higher level of PSMA.
When used with PET scans, this innovative technology gives physicians a clearer image of prostate cancer lesions and enables providers to determine the best course of treatment.
“We have the most sensitive PET scan for prostate cancer available,” said Wellstar Radiation Oncologist Dr. Justin Hart.
Wellstar is among the first in Georgia to routinely offer PSMA PET scans with PYLARIFY.
While standard scans have limited sensitivity for prostate cancer, this advanced imaging is much more capable of identifying prostate cancer, which allows Wellstar doctors to determine if the cancer is limited to the prostate or if it has spread to other parts of the body.
“It allows us to make sure we’re not missing any sites of cancer that aren’t picked up with old-school imaging,” said Wellstar Urologist Dr. Justin Watson. “If there is an area of cancer outside what we’d typically treat and we pick it up with this imaging, we can make sure we address that area, too.”
Providers can then tailor treatment to each patient’s individual needs, collaborating with the patient to find the best course of action and improve outcomes.
“It’s actionable information to make sure patients get the right treatment. It makes all the difference in the world,” Dr. Hart said.
Dr. Hart and Dr. Watson compared the new imaging technology to upgrading a 20 inch tube style TV from 1981 to a 60 inch LCD flat screen TV today.
“This is several leaps forward in our ability to see prostate cancer on a scan in high resolution,” Dr. Watson said. “In the older scans, things are difficult to see and sometimes not even perceptible, and with the new scans, they light right up and we know much better what we’re dealing with.”
This PSMA imaging is currently available at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, with plans to expand to other locations.
Men between the ages of 55 and 69 should discuss prostate cancer screening with their primary care providers, and men who are at higher risk may need to start screening earlier. Your Wellstar physician will get to know your health needs and history, then work with you to decide whether you might benefit from screenings.
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, talk to your provider about whether PSMA imaging should be part of your care plan. To learn more about prostate cancer treatment at Wellstar, visit our prostate cancer page or call 1 (877) 366-6032.