Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men living in the United States. As one of the most dangerous and common forms of cancer, prostate cancer sparks the interests of healthcare experts all around the world.
In turn, scientists continuously work together to discover new treatments for prostate cancer. Among these new treatments and innovations are genomic analysis of tumors, and various types of focal therapies.
What is focal therapy for prostate cancer?
While using focal therapy for prostate cancer treatment is a new method, it shows promising results. Focal therapy treats the cancerous prostate tissue in a way that won’t affect the healthy issues in the surrounding area.
“In the past, surgery was the only option for patients, which consisted of removing the entire prostate – but we found that less than 25% of the prostate was actually involved in the cancer,” explained Abhinav Sidana, MD, director of urologic oncology at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center and assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the UC College of Medicine.
Dr. Sidana added, “Surgery was inducing a lot of side effects in these men. With these new treatment options, we can localize the prostate cancer using MRI and then destroy only the cancer in the prostate, thus preserving the rest of the tissue and minimizing the side effects.”
Focal therapy treatments are ideal for patients who are in the early stages of prostate cancer. This is because if the cancer has spread away from the prostate, it would be much more difficult to focally target the cancer.
These treatments range from minimally invasive to noninvasive, and there are multiple options physicians consider for their patients, including cryoablation, high-intensity focused ultrasound and irreversible electroporation.