New, Minimally Invasive Treatment Effective Against Prostate Cancer

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on Sep 8 2020 3:18 PM

New, Minimally Invasive Treatment Effective Against Prostate Cancer
A focal or targeted high-intensity focused ultrasound (HFU) ablation of the prostate is an effective treatment for prostate cancer.
As opposed to surgery or radiation, it has a better outcome and short recovery time. Though the standard treatment for prostate cancer patients is radical treatment (surgery or radiation), these procedures have long-lasting side-effects like urinary incontinence and impotence.

The new study from the USC Urology with Keck Medicine of USC is published in the The Journal of Urology.

Focal HIFU is an outpatient procedure that takes around two hours. The patient can be discharged the same day. The procedure involves using a focused ultrasound beam to raise the prostate's temperature to approximately 90 degrees Celsius (194 degrees Fahrenheit) to destroy targeted areas of prostate tissue.

For the study, 100 men who underwent a HIFU procedure for prostate cancer between 2015-2019 were followed. Around 91% of the HIFU patients could avoid radical treatment, and 73% did not experience treatment failure.

Focal HIFU carries a low risk of significant complications and serious adverse effects. It helped to preserve the quality of life. Patients did not experience urine incontinence and were able to retain their sexual function. No serious adverse events or major complications were observed among the patients.

A small proportion of patients experienced difficulties with urination and urinary tract infection. Most patients went home the same day after the procedure and could resume their normal activities shortly.

"This positive data empowers urologists to use focal HIFU ablation to effectively address prostate cancer without the intrinsic side effects of radical treatments," says Andre Abreu, MD, and a urology surgeon with Keck Medicine and first author of the study.  

Abreu added, "We hope this study encourages prostate cancer patients to talk to their doctor about all potential treatment options to ensure that they receive a personalized care plan that addresses their individual needs."

"Throughout screening, diagnosis, and treatment, it is important to balance accuracy and efficacy. Our physicians will continue working toward better methods to personalize that balance for every prostate cancer patient," days Inderbir Gill, who is a Distinguished Professor and chair of the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Department of Urology, Shirley and Donald Skinner Chair in Urologic Cancer Surgery and associate dean for clinical innovation at the Keck School.