Prostate cancer is a serious health issue for men globally. It is the most common cancer in men in the United States and it results in most deaths by any cancer in men. Among all cancers in men, prostate cancer makes 40 percent.
Prostate cancer treatment side effects
The standard treatments used for prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland are surgery and radiation therapy. For advanced disease, treatments that target androgen signaling are used.
Few common side effects resulting from standard treatments which are most bothersome for patients are the inability to control one’s urine (urinary incontinence) and the inability to get a sufficient erection for penetration (erectile dysfunction).
Although the manifestation of these side effects depends on many variables like patient’s age, overall health, previous functioning of the bladder, and penile function before treatment, and they do not develop in every patient and their frequency and severity varies from patient to patient, these side effects remain a major worry for patients and patients are looking for new treatment options which produce little or no side effects particularly the loss of bladder control and erectile dysfunction.
It must be noted that these side effects can be managed through various therapeutic techniques and medications and there are many studies that are studying the potential benefits of various drugs in managing these side effects. Still, these side effects can be troubling for many patients and there is a need to direct research towards finding new treatments which produce minimal or no side effects and have a positive effect on the lessening of major side effects like lack of bladder control (urinary incontinence) and impotence ( erectile dysfunction).
Current mainstay treatments like radiation therapy and surgery, (particularly radical prostatectomy in which the whole of the prostate gland is removed along with surrounding tissues) produce these side effects. Considering this, many other treatment options like nerve-sparing prostatectomy, immunotherapy, cryotherapy, new methods of radiation therapy, and HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) are being tested in many clinical trials. Clinical trials about some of these treatment options are mentioned here.
Following are few clinical studies that are targeted at studying the impact of different treatments on a patient’s recovery, further spread of disease and treatments that produce little or no side effects.
Cryotherapy as a treatment for prostate cancer
This study aims to assess the benefits of cryotherapy in treating prostate cancer. In this study, a fusion of MRI and Ultrasound images will be done in real-time to guide areas of biopsy. In patients, 5-year growth of cancer and spread of cancer beyond the prostate gland will be measured to assess the impact of cryotherapy on the treatment of prostate cancer.
Furthermore, this study aims to treat prostate cancer while producing little or no side effects like urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
This study could be of interest to patients who are apprehensive about the side effects of conventional treatments and are looking for treatments that produce minimal side effects.
To participate, one will have to be male, 55 years or older with a confirmed diagnosis of prostate cancer, absence of cancer spread beyond the prostate gland, and treatment with cryotherapy.
People who have had previous surgical treatment of the prostate gland cannot participate. Similarly, participants with mental status impairment and performance status greater than 0 based on ECOG criteria will not be able to participate.
Further details about study methodology, key measurements, inclusion and exclusion criteria, location, and contacts pertaining to this study can be found on the following link.
Study assessing erectile function after nerve-sparing RALP
This study is a randomized, double-blind clinical trial aimed at evaluating the recovery of erectile function after nerve-sparing unilateral or bilateral robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy(RALP). Researchers are hoping that early treatment with sildenafil after RALP will result in improved erectile function.
This study could interest participants who are interested in nerve-sparing RALP and are looking for early improvement in erectile function.
To participate, patients must be between 30-89 years of age, willing to sign institutional review board-approved consent, and patients should have a positive prostate biopsy for prostate cancer. Furthermore, people with various diseases like unstable angina, uncontrolled hypertension, and congestive heart failure within the last 2 weeks will not be able to participate.
The detailed inclusion and exclusion criteria must be read which are mentioned in the link mentioned below. Details about location and contact details can be found on the link, too.
Ultra-High-Dose Hypo-fractionated or Single-Dose Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer
This is a pilot study that is aimed at studying adverse effects produced by ultra-high dose hypo-fractionated or single-dose radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Patients will be studied periodically after implementation of these treatments and urinary, rectal, and sexual functions will be assessed. This study is for people who have intermediate-risk prostate cancer.
This study could be of interest to people who are looking at treatment strategies that produce fewer side effects and who are interested in understanding the potential of this treatment option in terms of producing side effects and effective treatment.
To be eligible, one will have to be male, 50 years or older, able to sign the informed consent form, PSA less than 20ng/ml, Gleason score of 7, and prostate gland should be less than 100ml which will be assessed via CT scan or ultrasound. There are other criteria that need to be met before one can participate and they can be studied at the following link. Exclusion criteria, outcome measures, location, and contacts related to this study can be found on the link too.
Cyber Knife Stereotactic Radiotherapy in Prostate Cancer
This is a study about a new type of treatment for prostate cancer. The cyber knife system is a new radiation machine that focuses large doses of X Rays on cancer by utilizing a special type of system. This device focuses a large amount of radiation on the tumor in such a way that there is little damage to the nearby tissue.
This study is aimed at studying the benefits of this treatment on patients with prostate cancer and assessing the impact of this treatment on patient’s quality of life.
Read Also: Treating Swollen Prostates With Steam
Participants must have a histological diagnosis of prostate cancer, biopsy within 12 months of the date of registration, ECOG performance status of 0-1, no previous radiotherapy of prostate, and no previous surgery or cryotherapy. Detailed inclusion criteria are available on the link below. The location, contact details, detailed description, and key measurements are also available on this link.
Evaluation of Cyber Knife Stereotactic Radiotherapy in Prostate Cancer.