Beyond the Prostate

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USPIO (Ultrasmall Super Paramagnetic Iron Oxide)

USPIO is an exciting new development in nanotechnology which is unique to Dattoli Cancer Center. Collaborating with Dr. Charles Myers (AIDP), Dr. Stephen Bravo (SLI) and Dr. Jelle Barentsz (U Nijmegan), our research is demonstrating the equivalence to Combidex® imaging using Ferumoxytol. Meanwhile, using advanced fusion technologies, Ferumoxytol imaging from Sand Lake Imaging (SLI) can be directly transported into the software at DCC. This is the ultimate staging tool for patients having high risk prostate cancer and we believe it will help eradicate cancers which would otherwise remain unbeknownst to the treating Radiation and Medical Oncologist. This is perhaps the most exciting research being performed at DCC and we believe will result in a paradigm shift in how more advanced prostate cancer is approached.


The Combidex® imaging technique allows us to clearly distinguish between benign and malignant lymph nodes and to construct 3-dimensional maps to guide clinicians. Combidex® is a non-particle test that utilizes ferrous oxide (Ferumoxtran-10) as a contrast agent. The patient is scanned after infusion. Patients traveled to the Netherlands to undergo testing. Fused with MRI, Combidex® opened up whole new areas that we could treat. In practice, the predictive accuracy approaches 100% and it can pick up metastases as small as 1 millimeter.

Our institution has the ability to integrate the findings from a Combidex® scan into a computerized treatment plan for the patient. Without this, the valuable information collected from this state-of-the-art imaging procedure would not result in an improved targeting of tumors in other parts of the body. For those patients who made the trip to the Netherlands for this procedure, the understanding that once we know where the tumors lie we can target them effectively is very reassuring to someone previously fighting a poorly defined enemy. Although the test is no longer available in the Netherlands, USPIO is very similar technology and is now available in the US to allow us to effectively treat patients with lymph node involvement.

ProstaScint® Scan

ProstaScint® Scan is a staging test that utilizes a radioactive isotope, which is attached to a monoclonal antibody (mAb), which targets a specific cancer protein known as prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA). After this combined isotope-mAb is injected into the bloodstream, it will track down that particular cancer protein and then attach to it. This is an imaging test rather than a blood test, per se. Three to four days after being injected, a patient is scanned with a special camera that picks up the radiation emitted by the isotope and locates the cancer. In view of its high rate of false positives and false negatives, this test is not our first choice in working with patients.

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