A new prostate treatment has shown wonderful results in nine out of ten men according to a latest research. This treatment, which involves the heating of tumours using a highly focussed ultrasound, will treat the patients without any incapacitating side effects. This study has given hope to thousands of men, who are suffering from prostate enlargement, and the resulting side effects of other current therapies. Men can now be treated without staying in the hospital overnight. According to a recent study, HIFU or high intensity focused ultrasound, gives men an almost perfect outcome. Nine out of ten cases were free of cancer even after 12 months of treatment, without any side effects. The current therapies include radiotherapy or traditional surgery, which can provide perfect outcomes only fifty percent of the time.
This new study reveals that the prostate treatment options look bright and there is hope for many. Large scale trials are being initiated, so that within the next five years, affordable treatment can be on offer. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will give a go ahead for larger scale and more effective trails in a few days from now. Patients suffering from cancer can talk to their doctors for referral into this large trial. As it is one of the most common cancers found in men, prostate cancer current treatments include surgery to remove the complete prostate or radiotherapy. These therapies induce side effects like impotence and incontinence. Research regarding this treatment mainly focuses on reducing the occurrence of side effects.
Focal HIFU has an advantage over the previous HIFU in terms that it has fewer side effects. This can be effective even on the slightest of tumours, the size of a rice grain. The focussed ultrasound destroys them by heating. This prostate treatment gives a new dimension, as this reduces collateral damage to the tissues surrounding the prostate. Treatment that does not lead to side effects provides a better quality of life to the patients. Larger trials and study will prove this concept of treating prostate cancer in a much better way. These trials will conclude if focal therapy is more effective than the current therapies in providing long and medium term goals for the men. Once these trials are initiated, doctors can suggest this treatment to their patients. As more encouraging results are revealed, physicians too would be confident to refer their patients. Men, who are interested in registering for this trial, can talk to their cancer doctor or GP. A randomised controlled trial can benefit men in a great way.
This research programme is led by Professor Mark Emberton, of UCL and UCLH. He says that the focal therapy reduces the harm caused to the other tissues. He also said that men can be benefited by this treatment and have a better genitor-uriary function, which is not possible with the current therapies. He was of the opinion that this treatment concept is not new, as it is used in treating breast cancer in women. Professor Gillies McKenna, director of the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology said that clinical trials are great tools to test the effectiveness of experimental treatments like these. He also said that, if randomised controlled trials can prove the effectiveness of Focal HIFU prostate treatment, then it can soon become one of the most reasonable choices for prostate cancer.
Treatments that reduce the likelihood of common side effects significantly are always welcomed by the doctors. If there are no side effects like incontinence, and there is a better recovery process, then there is a chance that men can lead good quality lives years after the treatment. Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity said that they welcome any developments to the prostate treatment. And if it limits the possibility of debilitating side effects, then treatments like Focal HIFU have a potential future.