Researchers at University College Hospital in London have successfully conducted a small trial looking into the feasibility of using sound waves in treating early stage prostate cancer.
Around 41 patients took part in the "proof of concept" study which was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and has been published in the journal Lancet Oncology. Researchers directed high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) on small patches of cancer cells in the prostate and found that over 95 percent of the patients were cancer free after 12 months.
With regards to side effects, just 10 percent of the patients suffered from impotence after 12 months while none of the 41 patients suffered from incontinence. Lead researcher Dr Hashim Ahmed said that early signs are very encouraging but the exact effectiveness of the procedure should be evaluated in larger studies.
"This could offer a transformation of the way we treat prostate cancer. It could offer a cost-effective treatment for the NHS, and offer men with early prostate cancer an opportunity to treat their disease, but with very few side-effects", he said.