An MRI-Guided Ultrasound Treatment that Destroys Prostate Cancer

A novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided procedure that utilizes therapeutic ultrasound shows efficacy in treating prostate cancer with minimal side effects, according to a new study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

“Unlike with other ultrasound systems on the market, you can monitor the ultrasound ablation process in real time and get immediate MRI feedback of the thermal dose and efficacy,” said study co-author Steven S. Raman, M.D., professor of radiology and urology, and director of Prostate MR Imaging and Interventions and Prostate MR Imaging Research at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in a press release. “It’s an outpatient procedure with minimal recovery time.”

In this study, researchers enrolled 115 men (average age, 65) with localized low or intermediate risk, gland-confined prostate cancer. Subsequently, they delivered TULSA treatment to the entire gland, with an average Treatment time averaged 51 minutes.

According to the results of the study, prostate volume in the study group decreased on average from 39 cubic centimeters pre-treatment to 3.8 cubic centimeters a year after treatment. Overall, the researchers observed that clinically significant cancer was eliminated in 80% of the study participants. Moreover, 65% of patients had no evidence of any cancer at biopsy after one year. Blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of prostate cancer, fell by a median of 95%. There were low rates of severe toxicity and no bowel complications.

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“We saw very good results in the patients, with a dramatic reduction of over 90 percent in prostate volume and low rates of impotence with almost no incontinence,” Dr. Raman continued.

“There are two very unique things about this system,” Dr. Raman added. “First, you can control with much more finesse where you’re going to treat, preserving continence and sexual function. Second, you can do this for both diffuse and localized prostate cancer and benign diseases, including benign hyperplasia.”

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