At the 2015 European Congress of Radiology, Dr. Hashim Ahmed, senior lecturer at the University College London, presented data on his results using HIFU to treat over 500 men with prostate cancer. According to his results, this treatment, and other treatments that target the cancer rather than the entire gland, have excellent results.
Traditionally, men with aggressive prostate cancers are treated by destroying or surgically removing the entire gland. While this can effectively remove the cancer, it is damaging to the patient’s overall quality of life, causing significant harm and removing part of the body that may not need to be removed. In fact, at the best treatment centers, over half of patients suffered from erectile dysfunction after prostatectomy. This prompted Dr. Ahmed to study focal therapy as a way to treat prostate cancer while preserving quality of life.
In his research, Dr. Ahmed treated over 500 patients with prostate cancer using highintensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) through trials or in his clinical practice. At a median follow up of three years, he had a 100 percent survival rates. Just 0.5 percent of the patients required salvage therapy, and redo rates were 13.6 and 18.6 percent. Metastasisfree survival rates were over 99 percent for the patients as well.
Focal treatments, like HIFU, allow doctors to target only those areas of the prostate gland that actually need treatment. Instead of treating the entire gland or all areas of cancer, doctors can treat only those areas that are aggressively growing. Doctors can even treat one cancer area, which is identified as aggressive, while leaving a smaller area alone for active surveillance. This improves survival rates while protecting quality of life.
Improved imaging, including improvements in MRI, are helping doctors be more confident when choosing these treatments and following patients through active surveillance. This, in turn, is lowering the number of unnecessary procedures and doctors work with patients to preserve quality of life while living with prostate cancer.
Dr. Ahmed and his colleagues are convinced that imageguided therapies, like HIFU, are the future of prostate cancer treatment, allowing for good cancer control, retained potency, retained continence and a much better quality of life.
Read More >