Northside Hospital first in U.S. to use prostate cancer detection tool

Northside Hospital is the first in the country to commercially use a tool to detect recurrent prostate cancer.

Axumin, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is used in conjunction with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging on patients who are suspected to have had recurrent prostate cancer.

Traditional imaging agents contain glucose that is absorbed by cancerous cells, but prostate cancer has a low sensitivity to sugar. Axumin, by comparison, consists of synthetic amino acids that are designed specifically target prostate cancer cells.

Recurrence occurs in about one-third of prostate cancer patients. One-third of those who experience elevated PSA levels following prostatectomy or radiation therapy develop metastatic prostate cancer.

According to Northside, it diagnoses more prostate cancer cases than any other Georgia hospital.

Ellie Hensley is an entertainment, health care and general assignment reporter.

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