3 Innovations That Prostate Cancer Patients Didn't Know About, Until Now

Movember photo series, part 2.

November is Movember, an entire month dedicated to growing mustaches and raising awareness of important men's health issues, including prostate cancer. At A Plus, we are growing mustaches to raise funds for the Movember Foundation. Take a moment to donate to this important cause.

Here are our photos for the second week of Movember.

Diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer can only go as far as the latest medical innovations.

To find out what the next prostate cancer innovations will be, we asked two renowned physicians: Dr. Propa Ghosh, a robotic surgeon and urologist with Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, NJ; and Dr. Timothy Wilson, the Director of Urologic Oncology Research Program and Professor and Chair of Urology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.

Both doctors disagreed with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's 2012 recommendation against prostate cancer screening, and they both argued strongly for testing.

"We should operate from a foundation of knowledge and not operate from a foundation of ignorance," Dr. Wilson said.

Dr. Ghosh said that the right testing done early can lead to more effective treatment.

Here are three groundbreaking prostate cancer innovations that are not widely used yet, but should be:

1. MRI Modeling.

The foundation for effective prostate cancer treatment begins with an effective prostate cancer diagnosis, and Dr. Ghosh strongly believes that MRI modeling is the next frontier in terms of getting the most accurate diagnosis.

According to Dr. Ghosh, MRI modeling can detect high-risk prostate cancer and create 3-dimensional models.

"It completely changed the way I managed prostate cancer," Dr. Ghosh said.

MRI modeling for prostate cancer showed some promise years ago, but the technology was not advanced enough. According to Dr. Ghosh, the technology started to improve in 2010 and has been very helpful since. Dr. Ghosh believes that 95 percent of urologists don't use MRI modeling for prostate cancer yet, but when the cost decreases in the future, it could be an important tool for diagnosing prostate cancer.

2. Indocyanine green.

Indocyanine green, also known as ICG, is a dye that is typically used for the diagnosis of diseases like kidney cancer. However, Dr. Wilson says that it might also be effective for prostate cancer, even though it is usually not used for this.

He says that researchers at the John Wayne Cancer Institute are studying the possibilities of injecting ICG directly into the prostate to understand which lymph nodes are harboring rogue cancer cells. This information could help doctors in the treatment and removal of the cancer cells.

"It's just beginning to be investigated," Dr. Wilson says. "It's very innovative."

3. Gilupi.

Researchers from the John Wayne Cancer Institute have teamed up with engineers in Germany to develop a special device that they believe could accurately locate circulating tumor cells for all types of cancer.

It's called a Gilupi. Dr. Wilson described it as a metal coil that is designed to find cancer cells after sitting in a vein for several minutes. Once those cells are located, doctors can analyze the results and choose the appropriate treatment.

"It is revolutionary," said Dr. Wilson, who also is part owner of the company that is making the product. "This technology will eventually allow us to screen patients for cancer."

According to Dr. Wilson, the Gilupi was used in over 1,200 patients in Germany. The first Americans to use the device will be prostate cancer patients in early 2016.

Check out Part 1 of our Movember photo series.