Possible Cure? Breakthrough in treatment of prostate cancer in men
New technique is successful in nine out of 10 men, and is non-invasive
A non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer in men has proven to be
highly successful, with nine out of 10 men reacting positively to the
new therapy. The new technique treats tumors with a highly focused
ultrasound. This means that men can be treated without an overnight stay
in the hospital and avoid the distressing side effects associated with
A non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer in men has proven to be highly successful, with nine out of 10 men reacting positively to the new therapy.
Currently, traditional surgery or radiotherapy can only provide the perfect outcome in half of cases. Doctors say the results are "very encouraging" and were a "paradigm" shift in treatment of the disease.
It is hoped that large scale trials can begin in order to have the treatment become routine within five years.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence plans to announce that the treatment is safe and effective and larger scale trials should go ahead.
A larger trial is already recruiting patients and men interested in the treatment should speak to their cancer doctor or GP about being referred.
Prostate cancer is currently the commonest cancer in men with more than 37,000 diagnoses each year approximately 10,000 deaths.
Current treatments include surgery to remove the whole prostate or radiotherapy, both of which can effectively treat the cancer but often cause side effects such as incontinence and impotence.
In many men, prostate cancer will not progress to a life threatening disease meaning that radical treatment risks side effects unnecessarily. For this reason, research is now focused on reducing side effects.
Focal HIFU involves careful selection of tumors, as small as a grain of rice, within the prostate gland and targeting them with highly focused ultrasound to heat them and destroy them.
The advantage over other treatments is that damage to surrounding tissue is minimized, meaning there are far fewer side effects.
The majority of patient subjects, 95 percent, were free of cancer after 12 months.
Dr. Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University College London, says the treatment "changes the paradigm. By focusing just on the areas of cancer we reduce the collateral damage to surrounding tissue.
"Our results are very encouraging. We're optimistic that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may soon be able to undergo a day case surgical procedure, which can be safely repeated once or twice, to treat their condition with very few side-effects. That could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life.
"This study provides the proof-of-concept we need to develop a much larger trial to look at whether focal therapy is as effective as the current standard treatment in protecting the health of the men treated for prostate cancer in the medium and long term."
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
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