New prostate cancer experimental treatment shows promise
London, England, United Kingdom (AHN) – An experimental treatment for prostate tumors shows promise as an effective treatment with less side effects than existing therapies.
Using high-intensity focused ultrasound HIFU, the new procedure is similar to lumpectomy in breast cancer patients, in which just the tumor is removed instead of the entire breast. With the HIFU technique, doctors can spotlight treating only the cancer cells on the prostate while inflicting only minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.
Different from more commonplace and invasive procedures, such as radiotherapy and surgical removal of the prostate glands, HIFU may be also be able to prevent usual side effects like urine leakage and impotence.
The study, conducted at University College London, was small, involving just 41 men aged 45 to 80 with medium to high risk cancer. But, the results nonetheless are promising.
The doctors used MRI and mapping biopsies to locate the cancerous tissues and then used HIFU on the affected areas, killing the cancer cells.
Among the findings, none of the patients reported urinary incontinence a full year following the treatment, and just 1 in 10 suffered from poor erection.
Even more impressive was that about 95 percent of the men were cancer free a year after the treatment.