A new treatment in its initial stages of study and research is showing promise in treating localized prostate cancer. The new treatment makes use of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to remove small cancer lumps from prostate tissue. The study has been published online in The Lancet Oncology. The first author of the study is Hashim Uddin Ahmed, Medical Research Council Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Surgery, and Interventional Science, University College of London (UCL). He is conducting a series of world-first trials using HIFU as an alternative treatment for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer affects about 2, 50,000 people in the UK, of which 37,000 cases get diagnosed. Standard treatments like radiotherapy and surgery can bring down quality of life drastically and therefore there is always a search for alternative treatments.
HIFU – How does it work?
The procedure uses ultrasound to selectively destroy cancer cells leaving the surrounding healthy cells intact.
Phase I Study Results – June 2007 and June 2010
- 42 men between age of 45 and 80 years participated
- These men were in the low to high risk for localized prostate cancer
- They had not undergone any cancer treatment
- Men received HIFU for all cancer lesions
- After 1 year of HIFU treatment, 95% were free of cancer, only 10% suffered from erectile dysfunction, none of the participants suffered from incontinence
Ahmed and colleagues are excited and claim that the results are encouraging. In a report to the Press Association, they report that the finding could have a profound effect on the quality of life after prostate cancer treatment.
Video credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZn-qs9jH1A
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