I am at University College Hospital in London learning about a promising new treatment for prostate cancer. See my full report on the ITV Lunchtime News at 1:30pm.
The Prostate Cancer Charity has welcomed research published today that suggests a new treatment (focal HIFU) can dramatically reduce the side-effects of traditional treatment, which include incontinence and impotence.
However, it warns that the sample size is too small to be conclusive at present:
– Owen Sharp, Chief Executive, The Prostate Cancer Charity
We need to remember that this treatment was given to fewer than 50 men, without follow up over a sustained period of time. We look forward to the results of further trials, which we hope will provide a clearer idea of whether this treatment can control cancer in the long term whilst ridding men of the fear that treating their cancer might mean losing their quality of life.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
- In the UK, more than 37,000 men are diagnosed each year
- The condition leads to approximately 10,000 deaths
- Standard therapy currently involves treating the whole prostate
- Commonly, radiotherapy is used or surgery - which removes it completely
– Dr Hashim Ahmed, University College Hospital
We’re 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
A new prostate cancer treatment could provide more effective and targeted results:
- A light beam of ultrasound heats up cancer cells in an area as big as a grain of rice to 80 degrees
- The intensity of heat totally destroys the cancer cells
- It cuts down on damage to healthy tissues and reduces side-effects
- Treatment is known as HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound)