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Ferriheme with MRI

Will_10_2010
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov 2010

Due to rising PSA #"s , following RRP on Oct. 2010(.03, .05, .06, will be having another PSA next week), I'm trying to sort through all the information about various follow-up therapy options. Dattoli Center in Florida uses MRI with Ferriheme to pinpoint cancer for radiation therapy. I cannot find anyone else using Ferriheme for this purpose. My understanding is they use it because Combidex (spelling?) is not approved in the USA but is used in Amsterdam and Ferriheme has simiiar properties. Can anyone shed some light on the use of Ferriheme? Is it's use better than radiation without it? Are there better test to help pinpoint cancer?

Thanks in advance.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1590
Joined: Nov 2010

Will

I believe you are refereing to the Ultra-small Super Paramagnetic Iron Oxide particles (USPIO) MRI. Ferriheme serves as the contrast substance.
This is the latest test to look for metastases at the lymph nodes.
You can read about details by typing its name in the webb.

Here is one site (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2676801/)

VG

mrspjd
Posts: 693
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Will,

After his dx in Feb of last year, my husband had looked into Combidex and considered going to the Netherlands for the test since it wasn’t available in the U.S. and not FDA approved. Unfortunately, the company making the contrast agent discontinued its production and the test was no longer available.

We’ve heard that, nationally, several doctors are collaborating to have this or a similar contrast agent (Ferriheme? clinical trials?) approved/available for use in the U.S. in the future. The MRI using the contrast agent is a diagnostic tool (not a treatment) and is thought to identify PCa in the body's lymph nodes, which would then help to pinpoint adjuvant or salvage radiation tx (or possibly dissection) of the affected nodes.

Below is a link to an older pdf file about Combidex but the info may still be informative. While the content doesn’t mention Ferriheme by name, it might shed some light on the contrast agent Combidex, the history and the science behind the testing, etc. Dr. Jelle Barentsz, one of the pioneers of Combidex, was a presenter at a conference on "the future role of imaging in PCa detection and tx" that my husband and I were fortunate to have attended several months ago.

http://www.ustoowichita.org/pdf/COMBIDEX.pdf

Sorry you have to be going through this, but smart to be researching ahead of time.
Good luck to you.

tarhoosier
Posts: 187
Joined: Aug 2006

Will:
This USPIO Vasco mentioned is available at one location that I am aware of in the US: Sand Lake Florida. This imaging group is willing to use the currently unapproved substance on selected patients referred from Drs. Myers and Dattoli, as I understand it. It takes a special doctor to use unapproved substances. The risk for damage from the scan is slight but the reputation of the doctor is also at risk, thus the tight limitations on referral.
Feraheme (fer=iron) is the contrast agent. If you seek treatment from Dattoli they should be able to judge if this is an appropriate technique for you. If so, the cost of the agent is never covered by any insurer. That would be about 1000$ billed to you.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1590
Joined: Nov 2010

Tarhoosier

Thanks for the info. The amount is nothing in comparisom with the benefit it can give in the diagnosis.
How many of us would like to have such response when confronted with recurrence and therefore, the dilema of positive vz negative metastaes.

VG

mrspjd
Posts: 693
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks for the clarification. I suspected the unapproved contrast agent in question was being used off label.

Will_10_2010
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov 2010

Tarhoosier,
Thanks for the info. Have you had experience with Dattoli Center? I'm seriously considering going there for treatment. I live in CT but I think the trip would be worthwhile. Any thoughts?

Will_10_2010
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov 2010

This site never fails to amaze me. I ask a question and get great and meaningful replies. I've had a phone conference with Dr. Sorace from the Dattoli Center. Their procedure makes a lot of sense and I'm seriously considering it. Luckily I also have a good hospital nearby with a radiation oncologist that I also have faith in, I'll be calling him next week asking questions that I hope will help me make a decision. It seems the machinery hardware and possibly the Ferriheme procedure may be the tipping point for me. I'll keep you posted as I travel the path of decision making. Thanks to everyone for the info.

I'm also getting the names of some Dattoli patients who had been "in my shoes". I'll be calling them for additional info. Everyones' ideas are always welcome.

Any other info or reviews on the Dattoli Center??

tarhoosier
Posts: 187
Joined: Aug 2006

Will:
The only other information I can add is that the Dattoli Clinic is one of the entry points for the Feraheme 3-Tesla scan at Sand Lake. If this scan indicates tumor(s) in areas accessible to radiation then it is the option of the patient where to have this radiation done. It is not required to return to Dattoli. It may be convenient and logical to do so but another radiologist, skilled, experienced, with top and newest equipment in the home area of the patient may do as well.
I do not wish to oversell this scanning technique. It is merely an extension of current technology. For some men and women this small step is sufficient to render worthwhile results. For others it is not sufficient, or the scan has findings making radiation irrelevant.

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