New treatment for prostate cancer reduces side effects: British study

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VietnamNet English - 69 month(s) ago 11 readings

A new type of prostate cancer treatment can reduce side effects including urinary incontinence and impotence, according to a study published by British scientists on Tuesday.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Oncology, used a treatment known as HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) to treat areas of cancer just a few millimeters in size, which is just the size of a grain of rice. The ultrasound will kill the cells in the target area but will leave surrounding healthy tissue unaffected.

Traditional therapies, such as radiotherapy or surgery, which treat the whole prostate and often cause damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, can lead to substantial side effects such as urinary incontinence, erection insufficient for sexual intercourse and rectal problems.

The chance of achieving the "perfect outcome", which means no urine leak, good erections and cancer control at 12 months after treatment, was just 50 percent for radiotherapy or surgery.

But the latest study, which involved 41 patients, showed that they have a 9-in-10 chance of achieving the perfect outcome at 12 months.

"Our results are very encouraging," said Dr Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London.

"We are optimistic that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may soon be able to undergo a day case surgical procedure, which can be safely repeated once or twice, to treat their condition with very few side-effects," he said, adding "that could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life."


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