The scan is just an MRI with a powerful Telsa 3 MRI; it the imaging agent that is not approved. The agent is Sirinium and is nano iron oxide particles that is given IV the day before the MRI. A cancerous lymphnode will not let the particles in, whereas an infected node will. The MRI picks this up as it images every node. The imaging agent is not approved anywhere and it is classified as experimental in Holland.
The agent is perfectly safe if given slowly, over an hour's time. If it is given faster it will cause back pain that goes away as soon as the IV is stopped.
The Combidex is 96% accurrate if it classifies the nodes as clear. There have been false positives; not anywhere close to prostascint. A single suspected node can always be biopsied to confirm PC, but if a string of nodes is positive you can be fairly certain it indicates PC. Dr Barantz and his assistant review every scan independently then compare their results. Every lymphnode is classified on a scale of 5 as to it's level of suspicion.
I had one node with a low suspicion level of 2. Because of its
location and the low probability on the scan I was classified as being clear of lymphnode PC. It saved me from having to go on full blown HT and having my upper and lower lymphatic system radiated.
I don't know why the FDA is dragging their feet, but everyone I have talked to that has had the scan has found it very valuable as they were able to target the infected lymphnodes with radiation.
The same agent with size 20 nano particles is approved for use in detecting liver cancer. I think they use either a size 1 or 5 nano particles for PC.
Myers, Scholz and Strum routinely send their patients for Combidex scans. These are the only doctors in the US that do, but patients from all over Europe and Austrailia go to Holland for the scan. The cost is very reasonable at about
$2500, far less than an MRIS, bone or CT scan which will add little to your DX.
None of my other doctors that were experienced in PC had ever heard of it.
64 years old.
PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.
2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.
Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.
Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.
25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.
PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.