Prostate Cancer cells escaping during biopsy?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 145
   Posted 4/29/2010 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
There does not seem to be a strong concensus on this issue among the medical community.  I remember asking my husband's Urologist on our post-biopsy visit about this.  His answer was basically, "It is generally thought that cancer cells do not escape via the needle insertion sites during biopsy."  Hardly a conclusive answer because of course it seems that it is simply not known.  I've done a little research on this but everything I read seems fairly vague on the subject.  It just seems logical that it would be possible for microscopic cells to escape into the bloodstream during this procedure.   Not that this risk would change one's decision to have or not have a biopsy, but it does raise other questions such as whether or not practitioner skill has any impact on risk and the potential value of treating high-risk cases as systemic long before such evidence exists.
Just wondering if anyone has any other information on this subject.
Dx June 2007 - age 48
davinci RRP October 2007
75% of prostate involved
Gleason 9
Positive margin
Scans clear
No detectable mets
SRT - February 2008
Mar '09-0.4
Jun '09-0.7
Aug '09-1.7
Feb '10-.008
Apr '10 - .007
Commenced Dr. Robt Leibowitz "Three Pronged Approach" protocol in August 2009
Completed chemo Dec 28 2009

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 4/29/2010 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Guessing that you're asking about the cells escaping outside the prostate?
The biopsy needle is jammed into the prostate and then removed from the body. I guess in theory cells could drop out.
On the other hand - I've had blood drawn MANY times and have never seen any blood drop out of the needle.
Age 55   - 5'11"   215lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09  - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
11/20/09 - 18 Month PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 252
   Posted 4/29/2010 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
When I asked my Uro about this he stated that odds of cancer cells getting out was minimal. During my biosy, E-coli bacteria was moved into the prostate causing me a severe infection that had to be treated with IV anti-biotics. Again, the Uro said the odds of this happening would be minimal. Minimal definately does not mean "it can't happen." Squid.
*Age 63, PSA July 2009 5.66
*Diagnosed July 2009, Biopsy: 2 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3 + 5 = 8
*MRI and Bone Scan Negative.
*open Surgery October 22, 2009
*Prostate, both nerve bundles, seminal vessels, and lymph nodes removed during surgery.
*Post surgery Biopsy, Gleason 4 + 3; 2 positive margins
*Still slightly incontinant after 3 months - 1 pad per day (light). Dry at night. 1-2 trips to toilet.
*ED - Yes (will start Levitra possibly in January)
*30 day PSA (ultra-sensitive) .07
*90 day PSA (standard) <0.15
*01/10 - bladder neck stricture. opened during cysto exam. Cath #2 in for 5 days.
*IMRT/IGRT delayed until April pending 180 day PSA result
*03/01 - bladder neck stricture. Dilated during cysto exam. Cath #3 in place.
*03/11 - Bladder neck surgery. Cath #4 in place.
*03/15 - Cath #4 out. Great urine stream. Unfortunately, incontinence back to post surgery level.
*04/14 - Six month PSA - .21.
*04/28 - Will start IGRT week of 5/24.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 4/29/2010 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know about that but I had a freind who had 3 biopsies, then he had a hard time in surgery becasue fo all the scar tissue. That to me is one of the problems with active survellince, it is just not a good idea to keep jabbing your prostrate.
Dx'ed 5/08 one core 2%  out of 12  3+3 gleason
DREs all negative
PSA was in the 3-4 range then jumped to 7
I have the enlarged prostate, on the order of 100cc.  After taking Avodart for 3 months  my
PSA was cut in half.
I did Active S for a year but concluded that I didn't want a life
of biopsies and Uro meetings.
DaVinci on 6/24/09  UCI Med Center  Dr Ahlering, long surgery based on size and location
Final was 5% one side all clear, but had a huge 90 grm prostate
Now we work on pee control, ok at night but sitting is a big problem.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 4/29/2010 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Piy, I firmly believe that PCa cells get out during biopsy. If blood gets out, cells get out. In most cases these cells will just die off. But if enough grade 4 or 5 cells get out. I think you can have a problem. If you end up a gleason 6, or 3+4 7 you are probably not at risk. But an 8-10 could spread tha cancer. You can't know going in, and can only find out by biopsy.
Dx with PC Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4, Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4)

Robotic Surgery March 2009 Hartford Hospital, Dr Wagner
Pathology Report: T2c, Geason 8, organ confined, negitive margins, lymph nodes negitive
nerves spared, no negitive side effects of surgery

One night in hospital, back to work in 3 weeks

psa Junl 09 <.01
psa Oct 09 <.01
psa Jan 10 .07 re-test one week later .05
psa Mar 10 .28 re-test two weeks later .31

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