A new U.K. study published in the journal Lancet Oncology has found that focal HIFU, high-intensity focused ultrasound, heats prostate cancer tumors and provides the "perfect" outcome of no major side effects.
The treatment makes patients free of cancer 12 months, in nine out of ten cases.
Amazingly, the treatment does not require an overnight stay in hospital and avoids side effects associated with traditional surgery or radiotherapy, which can only provide the perfect outcome in 50% of prostate cancer patients.
41 men were treated with focal HIFU. After 12 months, none were incontinent and one in ten suffered impotence. 95% were free of cancer after 12 months.
Focal HIFU involves careful selection of tumors, as small as a grain of rice, within the prostate gland and targeting them with highly focused ultrasound to heat them and destroy them. The damage to surrounding tissue is minimized, meaning there are far fewer side effects.
Prostate cancer is the common cancer in men with more than 37,000 diagnoses each year approximately 10,000 deaths.
No word yet if this same kind of treatment could be used on other cancers, such as mantle cell lymphoma.
Dr Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust andUniversity College London, said: "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."