Wellstar patients are 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.
A diagnostic agent 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. It is the most sensitive scan available for prostate cancer.
Wellstar is among the first in Georgia to routinely offer PSMA PET scans.
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,” Wellstar Urologist Dr. Justin Watson said. “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.
“This imaging helps us ensure that patients are receiving the right treatment, which improves their outcomes,” Dr. Watson said.
The new imaging technology improves upon scans that were used in the past.
“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 Regional Medical Center, with plans to expand to other locations.
Wellstar urologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists work collaboratively to provide prostate cancer patients a full range of treatments to consider including active surveillance, CyberKnife/radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy and chemotherapy.