Making a huge breakthrough in cancer research, scientists have developed a revolutionary non-invasive treatment that uses sound waves to blast prostate cancer.
In a trial at University College Hospital and the private Princess Grace Hospital, both in London, men early prostate cancer were given general anesthetic and treated with high-intensity-focused ultrasound, which kills cancer cells.
AdvertisementThe researchers found that the technique could accurately zap small amounts of tissue by heating it up to a temperature of between 80C and 90C.
They reckoned that the technique is so accurate that it can be used to treat the whole prostate gland or just the areas with cancer.
Thus, the patients can now get rid of conventional treatment like surgery and radiotherapy, which treat the whole prostate and can carry the risk of side effects, including impotence, incontinence and bowel changes.
In their study, the experimental HIFU therapy was used on 172 men whose cancer had not spread beyond their prostate.
All the participants were day cases, and 78 per cent were discharged from hospital in an average of five hours.
Out of the group, 159 men were followed up a year later and 92 per cent were found to be cancer-free.
The trial found that men treated with HIFU had fewer side effects than those treated with radiotherapy or surgery.
It was found that less than one per cent participants suffered from incontinence, none had any bowel problems and 30 per cent to 40 per cent suffered impotence.
"This study suggests it's possible that HIFU may one day play a role in treating men with early prostate cancer with fewer side effects," the Daily Express quoted Dr Hashim Ahmed, who ran the trial, as saying.
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