In a nutshell
This study reported the long-term effectiveness and quality of life outcomes after prostate cryoablation (a process that uses extreme cold to destroy prostate tumor) treatment for patients with low and intermediate-risk prostate cancer (PCa). The data showed that the treatment had good outcomes with minimal impact on urinary and sexual function.
Prostate removing surgery and radiation therapy are common treatment options for men with low and intermediate-risk PCa. However, these treatments have negative effects on quality of life (QOL), such as urinary incontinence (involuntary leakage of urine) and sexual dysfunction.
Cryoablation is another treatment option for early-stage PCa. This involves administering an extremely cold fluid to the tumor site to damage or kill cancer cells. In some cases, cryoablation can be given after primary treatments have failed. Subtotal ("hockey-stick") prostate cryoablation is defined as less than complete ablation of the prostate gland with extremely cold fluid. Whether subtotal prostate cryoablation is safe and effective in the long-term is still unknown.
Methods & findings
This study involved 23 patients with PCa who underwent regional ("hockey-stick") prostate cryoablation. The investigators conducted prostate biopsies and QOL queries at 6, 18, and 36 months following the procedure. The average follow-up time was 74 months.
52% of patients did not have evidence of disease after 3 years of follow-up. All patients had preserved urinary control with no patients requiring pads for urinary incontinence. Erectile function significantly decreased at 3 and 6 months, however, it improved at the other time points.
The bottom line
This study concluded that subtotal (hockey-stick template) cryoablation of the prostate was safe and effective at eliminating tumors while providing acceptable QOL outcomes in terms of urinary and sexual function.
The fine print
The study population was small. Larger study groups are required for results to be applied to higher-risk populations.
Published By :
World Journal of Urology
Jan 16, 2021
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