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Ultrasound Therapy Yields Promising Results for Localized Prostate Cancer

In This Article

  • The study enrolled 115 men who were treated for localized prostate cancer with TULSA, or transurethral ultrasound ablation
  • Researchers observed significant reductions in prostate size and prostate-specific antigens (PSA)
  • Long-term data is necessary to evaluate the real effectiveness of the treatment

A study of the effects of MRI-guided ultrasound ablation of the prostate found that the treatment can significantly reduce prostate size in men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.

Transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) involves a transurethral device that emits directional ultrasound to ablate a patient-specific volume using active MRI thermometry feedback control.

The results of the study, presented at the American Urological Association's 2019 Annual Meeting, showed that 95% of patients undergoing ultrasound therapy for localized prostate cancer met the endpoint of a ≥75% reduction in prostate-specific antigens (PSA), with a median PSA reduction of 95%. Researchers also reported a 90% reduction in median prostate volume in a follow-up MRI at 12 months of treatment.

Douglas Dahl, MD, chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that the results of the ultrasound therapy are promising, although more research needs to be done to determine whether TULSA will stand out against other alternatives to surgery and radiation for localized prostate cancer.

Dr. Dahl also said that the effectiveness of ultrasound treatment will only be realized by the long-term cancer outcomes of patients undergoing TULSA. He noted that even after the first six months to a year of treatment, a significant percentage of patients will still have some detectable prostate cancer.

While the study showed promising results, TULSA is not entirely risk-free. Researchers reported a 7% incidence of serious adverse effects overall, with the most common side effect being a genitourinary infection (4.3%).

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