Using high energy ultrasound beams to destroy prostate cancer tumours may be as effective as surgery or radiotherapy, but with fewer side effects.
A new study, carried out at six hospitals across the UK, tracked 625 men with prostate cancer who received a type of treatment called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).
The research, published in the journal European Urology, is the largest ever study of HIFU treatment used to target prostate tumours. The treatment is similar to a ‘lumpectomy’ for other cancers – where doctors remove only tumour cells, leaving as much healthy tissue as possible.
The findings, from a number of institutions including Imperial College London and University College London, found that after five years the cancer survival rate from HIFU was 100 per cent. Approximately, 1 in 10 men needed further treatment. The cancer survival rate from surgery and radiotherapy is also 100 per cent at five years.
The research also showed the risk of side effects of HIFU, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, were lower than other treatment options, at 2 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and SonaCare Inc., who manufacture the ultrasound
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