Revolutionary new biopsy procedure offered for patients with suspected prostate cancer

Posted on January 13, 2021 by AireAdmin

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first trusts in the North of England to revolutionise their biopsy service for men with suspected prostate cancer. Since the summer, Airedale Radiology department have been offering patients a transperineal prostate biopsy under local anaesthetic to investigate for prostate cancer.

Around 90% of biopsy patients are suitable for transperineal biopsy and Airedale is currently able to offer this to all patients who are considered appropriate. The ground breaking new service enables patients to have prostate biopsy to be performed in the safest way possible, significantly reducing the risk of infection.  It also allows for more extensive and accurate biopsies of the prostate gland by using the new Precision Point system, thereby aiming to reduce the number of biopsies required in the future. By offering this procedure, Airedale Hospital meets and surpasses NICE guidelines and offer Gold Standard care, placing the trust on a par with other leading centres such as Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and a biopsy is a key step in confirming a possible diagnosis. It involves using thin needles to take small samples of prostate tissue, which are then looked at through a microscope.  At the moment, most biopsies are done using the transrectal ultrasound-guided technique. This is where the needle goes through the wall of the back passage (rectum) and will still be used for patients with certain anatomies or forms of the disease. However, in the new transperineal (TP) technique, the needle goes through the perineum, which is the skin between the testicles and the back passage.  This hugely reduces the risk of infection and means that patients no longer need to take antibiotics before and after the test.  

Anna Zoltowski, Consultant Uro-radiologist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:

“We are very proud to be able to offer this new service which is a breakthrough for our patients’ safety, significantly reducing their risk of infection and giving us very accurate biopsies using the very latest technology available. Introducing this new service in the middle of a global pandemic has been challenging but we are delighted to now be able to offer trans perineal biopsy to any patient in whom the technique is suitable.”

Anna continues:

“Those biopsies are an integral part of the diagnosis which then determines what treatment a patient would have. Prostate cancer is very varied, there are certain versions that require no treatment whatsoever and there are aggressive forms which require more aggressive treatments.  The biopsy tells us if there is cancer, how much and how aggressive it is.  That’s the decision that then helps the urologist and oncologist decide on the treatment.  Prostate biopsy is the mainstay of prostate cancer diagnosis.”

There are around 350 men who will have a prostate biopsy at Airedale hospital each year and who will now benefit from the new service as the result of the huge investment by the trust of £100K spent on a new ultrasound machine, £25k to create a new treatment room and a donation of £16k on a dedicated procedure chair thanks to the Friends of Airedale charity.

John Lofthouse, Chair of Friends of Airedale said:

“As always Friends of Airedale Hospital are pleased to provide funds for equipment that help the patient. This special chair is part of our ongoing support to the hospital and we are proud to say we have donated, over the past 10 years, around £250,000 per year to providing equipment like this that really makes a difference.”