Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death in men globally. The medical management of prostate cancer involves several therapeutic techniques that have gained popularity. Recently, a new therapeutic method known as focused therapy has evolved for “little risk” prostate cancer—mostly tiny tumors limited to one area of the prostate. Researchers have worked closely with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), an innovative targeted therapeutic method guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
A groundbreaking medical experiment has shown that this less invasive approach works for patients. The phase 2 trial, coordinated by cancer surgeon Behfar Ehdaie, examined a specific type of HIFU treatment in men with intermediate-risk cancer. This new treatment is called MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS). The scientists reported clinical improvements thanks to the unique approach. Patients with prostate cancer may avoid conventional surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation with this new approach.
The clinical trial’s findings are a significant step toward making the new MRgFUS technique a common aspect of prostate cancer treatment.
MRgFUS achieves better therapeutic outcomes in low-level prostate cancer
Although regular therapies for the whole gland, including surgery and radiation therapy, help remove cancer, they frequently result in incontinence and sexual dysfunction in patients. The MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) procedure is a two-hour patient procedure. Patients lie in an imaging machine under anesthesia. The doctors mark the treatment area and give concentrated ultrasound waves guided by the MRI after the scanner obtains an image of the prostate. The ultrasonic waves come from various angles and intersect to assault and kill malignant cells by heating them to above 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).
Some men with a low-risk illness restricted to the prostate may benefit from this MRgFUS. The malignant cells are ablated in focused therapy, by either heating or freezing the prostate area. Because the approach is limited to a small portion of the prostate, the adverse effects are usually milder than surgery or radiation therapy.
High-intensity focused ultrasound is a targeted therapy in which an ultrasonic transducer concentrates sound waves to generate heat and damage target tissue at particular locations within the body. Previously, it happened under ultrasonic guidance, but ultrasonography does not provide a good enough image of the cancerous spot in the prostate gland. Researchers looked at a device that delivers MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS). The technique involves a probe implanted in the rectum while the patient is under general anesthesia, focusing high-frequency ultrasonic waves on the cancer location.
Although treatment for the whole prostate gland, including surgery and radiation therapy, help destroy malignant cells, they frequently result in adverse effects like incontinence and sexual dysfunction in patients. The clinical relevance of this new study is that treatment can get to the exact tumor location by combining a HIFU device with an MRI. The new technique ensures a better prognosis for patients.
Advances in medicine have led to prostate cancer treatments that have helped multitudes of patients. MRgFUS is the latest in a long line of approaches that can potentially improve prostate cancer management.