Program for Personalized Prostate Cancer Care
More than 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2014, and some 29,000 will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. To combat those statistics, the UAB Program for Personalized Prostate Cancer Care offers a multidisciplinary approach to comprehensive prostate health. A highly personalized evaluation process is combined with the latest advancements in prostate cancer detection, including the MRI/US Fusion Guided Prostate Biopsy, which combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) technologies. This “targeted biopsy” technique is able to focus directly on suspicious areas of the prostate, unlike the traditional method. This advanced screening technique is also able to detect prostate cancer much sooner than with previous tests, and it marks one of the most significant advances in prostate screening in 30 years. It is expected to be especially helpful among men with a history of negative biopsies who are still suspected of having cancer due to persistently abnormal lab results, patients with enlarged prostates, and men who are being monitored based on certain test results. When cancer is detected, the technique provides a more accurate understanding of the disease, which allows physicians to offer better counsel to patients, who in turn can make more informed decisions regarding their care.
UAB was the first medical center in Alabama and among the first in the Southeast to offer the MRI/US Fusion Guided Prostate targeted biopsy technique, and UAB is home to two of only a select few urologists in the nation trained to utilize this technology. UAB urologists are regional and national leaders in their field, and our specialists in medical, surgical, and radiation oncology work together as a multidisciplinary team to sensitively diagnose and treat your prostate condition in the most efficient manner possible. A customized personal care plan will be developed for you that encompasses the latest technology and techniques while minimizing effects on continence and sexual activity.
When prostate surgery is necessary, UAB’s comprehensive robotic surgery program is available for our urologic surgeons, who are noted for their expertise and experience with this minimally invasive technology, which reduces patient discomfort and shortens recovery time. And as a part of UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – the only one in a six-state region – you will have the backing of our extensive research efforts and potential access to treatments before they are available at other medical centers.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
UAB Hospital first in Alabama to offer first-of-its-kind dissolving heart stent
The interventional cardiology team at UAB Hospital recently added to its longstanding reputation as a pioneer in the development and implementation of stents by becoming the first in Alabama to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that disappears over time.
On July 20, Massoud Leesar, M.D., a professor in UAB’s Division of Cardiovascular Disease, implanted a patient with the world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent for the first time in Alabama. The Absorb bioresorbable vascular coronary stent is a major advance in the treatment of coronary heart disease, which is responsible for about 370,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This type of stent has been in the making for nearly 15 years.
While stents are traditionally made of metal, the Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material called polylactide, similar to dissolving stitches or sutures.
“Since the Absorb stent gradually dissolves, this may be a safer long-term option for patients because metal stents can clot and occlude the artery,” Leesar said.
The stent is placed into the artery on a balloon at the end of a thin flexible tube, much like the procedure used to place bare metal and drug eluting coronary stents. It is then expanded by inflating the balloon that pushes the plaque against the artery wall to enable greater blood flow. The balloon is removed, leaving the Absorb stent to slowly release medication to the diseased area. With blood flow restored, the stent begins dissolving.
After Absorb dissolves, it allows the artery to pulse and flex naturally. It may also reduce the risk of future blockages that occur with metallic stents, and makes it easier for doctors to offer additional interventions in the future if necessary. During the dissolving period, Absorb metabolizes into water and carbon dioxide, two elements that occur naturally in the body. All that remain in the artery are two pairs of tiny metallic markers that enable a physician to see where the device was placed. After three years, the device is completely dissolved and the vessel can remain open and pulsate on its own.
Calvin Burnett of Albertville, Alabama, is the first patient in the state to receive the new Absorb stent. After Burnett was diagnosed with rectal cancer in September 2015, his oncologist recommended he see a cardiologist at UAB following complaints of tightness in his chest.
“I’ve always been kind of physically active, so this kind of threw me for a loop,” Burnett said.
Two days after his stress test, an Absorb stent was placed. Burnett says he is grateful that medicine has come so far.
“I think this is such a great thing,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to riding horses.”
Burnett says he could not imagine having his procedure done anywhere other than at UAB.
To ensure optimal patient selection and implant technique, UAB’s interventional cardiology team underwent extensive training on the new device.
“One of the advantages of this new stent is that the risk of a metal stent’s suddenly clotting is a major issue long-term,” Leesar said. “Since the new stent dissolves over time, this risk can be eliminated, and the vessel has the potential to be open more than to before with the stent.”
Currently, patients who receive the new dissolving stent will have to meet certain criteria. Leesar suggests patients talk with their cardiologists to see if they meet those criteria, and to learn more about the Absorb stent and its capabilities.
Source: UAB News