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A recent study conducted by researchers at University of California, Los Angeles has confirmed the efficacy and safety of focal laser ablation in men with intermediate risk prostate cancer. Focal laser ablation is the precise application of heat through a laser to a tumor. The study, published in the Journal of Urology, has found no serious adverse effects or changes in urinary or sexual function six months after the procedure.
Previously, surgery and radiation are the known treatment for prostate cancer. However, these treatments can result to some serious side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Also, non-invasive surgical treatment for prostate cancer has been proven to be difficult due to the similarities of prostate tissue and tumor tissue. For the new treatment, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to guide the insertion of a laser fiber into cancerous tumors. When the laser was inserted, it is then heated to destroy the cancerous cell.
“Our feeling was that if you can see prostate cancer using the fusion MRI and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, why not stick a laser fiber in the tumor the same way to kill it,” Dr. Leonard Marks, a professor of urology and director of the UCLA Active Surveillance Program, in a statement. “This is akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Instead of removing the whole organ, target just the cancer inside it. What we are doing with prostate cancer now is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.”
For the study, eight men were asked to undergo focal laser ablation while in an MRI machine. No serious side effects were reported six months after the procedure. However, researchers still need a longer-term follow up is order to continue the appropriate assessment of treatment margins to ensure cure. If the new laser-based treatment is proven to be effective and safe, men suffering from prostate cancer can now choose between radical prostatectomy and active surveillance, between doing nothing and losing the prostate.
A follow-up study, presented in a poster presentation at the American Urology Association meeting in May, showed the potential to transfer this treatment for the first time into a clinic setting, using a special device (Artemis) that combines both MRI and ultrasound for real-time imaging. The Artemis device arrived at UCLA in 2009. Since then, 2000 image-fusion biopsies have been performed — the most in the U.S. — and this large experience has paved the way for treatment to be done in the same way.
“This focal therapy provides a middle ground for men to choose between radical prostatectomy and active surveillance, between doing nothing and losing the prostate,” Marks said. “This is a new and exciting concept for prostate cancer treatment.”
Shyam Natarajan, Steven Raman, Alan M. Priester, James Garritano, Daniel J.A. Margolis, Patricia Lieu, Maria L. Macairan, Jiaoti Huang, Warren Grundfest, Leonard S. Marks. Focal Laser Ablation of Prostate Cancer: Phase I Clinical Trial. The Journal of Urology, 2016; 196 (1): 68 DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2015.12.083
For Further Information
More on the prostate cancer treatment market in the United States can be found in a report suite published by iData Research entitled the U.S. Market Report Suite for Urological Devices. The suite covers reports on the following markets: Urinary Incontinence Devices, Stone Management Devices, BPH Treatment Devices, Urological Endoscopes, Prostate Cancer Treatment Devices, Urodynamics Equipment, Nephrostomy Devices, and Erectile Dysfunction.
The iData report series on urological devices covers the U.S., Canada, China, India, Japan, and 15 countries in Europe including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and Switzerland. Reports provide a comprehensive analysis including units sold, procedure numbers, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analysis of major players’ success strategies in each market and segment. To find out more about urology device market data or procedure data, register online or email us at [email protected] for a U.S. Market Report Suite for Urological Devices brochure and synopsis.
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