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Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Prostate cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study examined the effectiveness of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in treating unilateral prostate cancer (only affecting one side). Authors reported good cancer control and a low rate of side effects.

Some background

Advances in cancer screening methods have led to earlier diagnoses of prostate cancer. Most are diagnosed at lower tumor stages, with less aggressive cancer cells and smaller tumor sizes. Some men only show cancer on one side of the prostate (unilateral tumor). Focal therapies are often recommended for unilateral 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. It involves a minimally invasive surgery targeting cancer cells with HIFU energy. 

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to assess HIFU as a treatment option for unilateral prostate cancer.

67 men with unilateral prostate cancer were included. All men underwent treatment with HIFU. Blood tests, tissue samples (biopsies) of the prostate, and questionnaires measured treatment outcomes. Patients were followed for an average of 12 months.

56 men (83.6%) showed no cancer cells in the follow-up biopsy at 12 months. 11 men showed positive cancer cells at the follow-up biopsy. Of those, 1 had cancer cells on both sides of the prostate and 6 had cancer cells only the other (untreated) side of the prostate. 21.4% of men with unilateral tumors on the right side of the prostate before treatment showed disease recurrence. This was significantly higher compared to 8% of men with unilateral tumors on the left side of the prostate. 6 men (9.7%) showed disease recurrence based on blood tests at 12 months.

All men maintained urinary continence after HIFU. 21 men showed normal erectile and ejaculatory function before treatment. This was maintained in 11 of these men (52.4%) after treatment. 11.2% of men reported mild urinary infections or urinary retention (a temporary inability to pass urine) after HIFU. 2 serious cases of urinary retention were noted that required treatment. All complications were observed within the first month of the procedure. 

The bottom line

Authors concluded that HIFU is a safe and effective treatment option for unilateral prostate cancer.

The fine print

Larger clinical trials are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

Published By :

European Urology

Date :

Jul 09, 2015

Original Title :

Focal High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Targeted Hemiablation for Unilateral Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Evaluation of Oncologic and Functional Outcomes.

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