Medical Research Council

A cancer treatment that is non-invasive with less number of side-effects is the most earnest need of the hour. And, Medical Research Council (MRC) professionals are listening as a new therapeutic alternative for prostate cancer with fewer side effects has been disclosed by them.

Essentially, sound waves are used to objectively strike cancer cells in this procedure. Called HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound), this approach is supposed to be used for treating tumor portions measuring some millimeters. Also known as focal therapy, the idea is to ‘focus’ precisely on small tumors and destroy it.

Dr Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and UCL (University College London), commented, “Our results are very encouraging. 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. That could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life.”

After about 12 months of treatment, almost 95% of the patients in the trial were apparently free of cancer. Importantly, not even 1 person from the group of 41 individuals seemed to suffer from urinary incontinence. Moreover, only 1 in 10 of the subjects experienced erectile dysfunction, a common side-effect of general treatments.

However, the team is investigating the general and long-term effects of focal therapy for men suffering from prostate cancer. They are hopeful of a day when patients can maintain a good quality of life and be treated effectively.

The study is published in the journal, Lancet Oncology.