Focused ultrasound excels for prostate cancer therapy

April 1, 2008

Technique May Offer Alternative To Radiotherapy, Avoid Side Effects

High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation has long been proposed for the treatment of solid tumors in several organ systems. Advocates say it offers a credible nonsurgical treatment alternative to radiotherapy.

Now, high-intensity focused ultrasound's value has been established for treating prostate cancer, with positive outcomes lingering for at least five years.

Urologist Dr. Andreas Blana and colleagues at the University of Regensburg's St. Josef Hospital in Germany evaluated 140 patients (mean age 69.1) with early or intermediate localized prostate cancer. They were treated with high-intensity focused ultrasound.

During a mean follow-up of 6.4 years, either an increase in prostate-specific antigen levels or positive biopsy sampling was considered as evidence of treatment failure.

Results, published online in European Urology in November, indicated that follow-up prostate biopsies were negative in 86.4% of patients, with a five-year prostate-specific antigen-related failure-free survival rate of 77%. The overall disease-free rate at five and seven years was 66% and 59%, respectively.

"This treatment is an excellent option for men with localized prostate cancer, and it should be part of a doctor's armory when treating the disease," he said.

On 28 February 2008, Blana published another online study in Urology about factors predicting formation of bladder outlet obstruction after HIFU in treating localized prostate cancer.