Experienced specialists leverage an array of state-of-the art technologies, delivering advanced, compassionate diagnosis and treatment services at the Aurora Prostate Cancer Center.
Scott Dahlbeck, MD, PharmD, and Jui-Lien “Lillian” Chou, MD
Sterling Creative Photography
The UroNav Fusion Biopsy System
“Often, prostate cancer is not symptomatic,” says Scott Dahlbeck, MD, PharmD, board-certified radiation oncologist at Aurora Prostate Cancer Center, “and as such it is usually discovered as part of routine screening.”
If a patient presents with high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), or a physician finds abnormalities on the prostate during a rectal exam, the provider may order imaging studies or a biopsy. However, the current prostate biopsy standard — transrectal ultrasound-guided (TRUS) biopsy — has limitations.
“TRUS biopsies can be hard to read,” Dr. Dahlbeck explains. “Images are not always clear, so it can be difficult to detect clinically significant abnormalities.”
Moreover, biopsy needles can miss the tumor entirely.
The UroNav Fusion Biopsy System allows providers to fuse real-time ultrasound imaging with MRI images taken prior to the biopsy. This enables providers to navigate the prostate more clearly, potentially finding areas of cancer that did not appear on the TRUS.
“UroNav also has an onboard computer, much like a GPS,” Dr. Dahlbeck says. “As physicians move the biopsy needle, the computer helps guide the needle to where it needs to be for the biopsy, which greatly improves the accuracy of the procedure.”
UroNav can be used for most patients who require a biopsy, and it is especially beneficial for those who have high PSA levels but negative prior biopsy results.
“There might be different pockets of cancer within the prostate, and UroNav minimizes the number of biopsies necessary in order to find the cancer,” Dr. Dahlbeck says. “The MRI thus helps the provider hit all the suspicious spots, which can ultimately affect the therapeutic approach.”
“Our team provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. That is key to successful patient outcomes.”
— Jui-Lien “Lillian” Chou, MD, Medical Director and board-certified radiation oncologist at Aurora Prostate Cancer Center
Specialists at Aurora Prostate Cancer Center use image-guided radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer, with less than 5% of patients experiencing significant side effects, says Jui-Lien “Lillian” Chou, MD, Medical Director and board-certified radiation oncologist at Aurora Prostate Cancer Center. However, even the slight possibility of side effects related to bowel, urinary or sexual function understandably causes concern for patients.
To alleviate those fears, Aurora Prostate Cancer Center has introduced the SpaceOAR hydrogel, a water-based polymer that is injected to create space between the prostate and rectum prior to radiation treatment. The space makes the rectum less likely to be exposed to radiation. The water-based gel maintains necessary spacing for roughly three months and is absorbed within approximately six months, according to the manufacturer.
“We’re the first facility in San Antonio to utilize SpaceOAR hydrogel,” Dr. Dahlbeck says. “The injection is performed by our urologists, and it’s very similar to a biopsy procedure. It takes five minutes or less to inject the fluid into the space, and patients usually don’t notice any side effects or toxicity.”
What they do notice is results: In a randomized clinical trial, patients using SpaceOAR hydrogel during radiation treatment were less likely to experience clinically significant declines in bowel, urinary and sexual quality-of-life scores afterward than those who did not.
Patients with a history of proctitis or colon issues may see a particularly strong benefit from SpaceOAR hydrogel, Dr. Dahlbeck notes, although it can benefit any patient.
“In most cases, prostate cancer is a curable malignancy if the right treatments are provided at the right time. At the Aurora Prostate Cancer Center, our healthcare delivery team is patient centric, with the objective of providing the safest, most effective and most caring treatment experience possible.”
— Scott Dahlbeck, MD, PharmD, board-certified radiation oncologist at Aurora Prostate Cancer Center
The Aurora Prostate Cancer Center Advantage
Convenient access to advanced care from experienced, compassionate providers is a priority at the Aurora Prostate Cancer Center.
It is currently the only facility in the San Antonio area to use the UroNav Fusion Biopsy System on an outpatient basis, for example, and SpaceOAR hydrogel injections are outpatient procedures as well.
The facility — conveniently located close to Interstate Highway-10 — also offers free, easy-to-access parking at the front, Dr. Dahlbeck points out. Furthermore, as an outpatient facility, it does not have the crowded atmosphere found in cancer centers in large hospitals. That benefits patients by making them less likely to come in contact with patients who have infectious diseases.
Additionally, Drs. Dahlbeck and Chou bring a combined total of nearly five decades of clinical experience to patient care, and Dr. Chou has a deeply personal understanding of the value of excellent cancer treatment.
“I am a breast cancer survivor of 15 years,” she says. “Cancer affects not only the patient but also the patient’s family, and I can put myself in their shoes during the entire care continuum.”
To refer a patient to Aurora Prostate Cancer Center, please call 210-247-0888 or visit auroracancercenter.com.