In a nutshell
This study examined erectile function following treatment of prostate cancer with focal therapy. Researchers reported a return of erectile function from 6 months after focal therapy.
Surgery and radiation are first-line treatments for localized (confined) prostate cancer. In some cases, focal therapies are recommended for some localized tumors. These are directed only at the area containing the tumor. This is in contrast to targeting the whole prostate gland, which is often associated with more side effects. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a type of focal therapy that uses heat energy to kill cancer cells.
A common side effect associated with surgery, radiation, and focal therapies is erectile dysfunction. Preserving sexual and erectile function plays an important role in the patient’s choice of treatment. It is therefore important to have accurate data to inform men who are considering focal therapy.
Methods & findings
The aim of this study was to describe the incidences of erectile dysfunction following focal therapy of prostate cancer.
The results from 3 separate studies were pooled into a single analysis. A total of 118 men with localized prostate cancer treated with HIFU were included. Men either had HIFU directed only at the main tumor on the prostate, all known tumors on the prostate, or at the entire half of the prostate. Erectile function was measured for up to 1 year using a questionnaire.
On average, erectile function significantly decreased 1 month after focal therapy compared to before treatment. However, erectile function gradually returned to near baseline levels 1 year after treatment. The decrease in erectile function was no longer statistically significant from 3 months onwards after focal therapy.
Before treatment, 10% of men used medication (such as sildenafil [Viagra]) for erectile dysfunction. This reached 43% at 6 months and 42% at 9 months after focal therapy, before declining to 37% at 1 year after focal therapy.
The bottom line
Researchers concluded that focal therapy was associated with good preservation of erectile function.
The fine print
Treatment procedures and data collection likely varied across the 3 studies included.
Published By :
Oct 29, 2015
If you sign up for Medivizor, you'll receive PERSONALIZED updates that are JUST FOR YOU. Want to give it a try?