Focal therapy eliminates localized prostate cancer while preserving prostate function

Madrid

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Prostate cancer was the most frequent tumor in men during the past year, according to the report of the
Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM)

«Cancer figures in Spain» of 2021. Surgery or radiotherapy are therapeutic options that have achieved great advances in the survival of these patients. But both present an important complication: loss of sexual function.

This risk avoid focal therapya type of treatment that overcomes this problem by treating only the focus of the tumor instead of the entire prostate. The Urology Unit the

Ruber International Hospital offers different types of focal therapy through its specialists.

As stated by the head of the Unit, the urologist Antonio Allona Almagrofocal therapy is applied to localized tumors and with the option of curative treatment.

It is indicated in patients with small tumors that have a maximum of two or three foci that are very close to each other and that allow a small part of the prostate to be treated, says Dr. Allona. “In addition, it must be an aggressive tumor. It is also important to own wish of the patientwho, depending on their age and their sexual expectations, opt for this treatment”, highlights the head of the Urology Unit.

The aim is to achieve a balance between tumor elimination and maintaining quality of life without compromising long-term oncological results.

In this sense, the associate head of the Urology Unit of the
Ruber International Hospital
, Juan Ignacio Martinez-Salamanca, the tumor must be low-grade or favorable intermediate risk. He also points out that a “good agreement between the findings of the MRI and fusion biopsy findings».

This specialist clarifies that the goal is not only to preserve the patient’s sexual function: “Focal therapy also protects quality of life by maintaining prostate function, which affects sphere of masculinity or pleasure in a sexual encounter».

According to the urologist, focal therapy “seeks to achieve a balance between tumor elimination and maintaining quality of life without compromising long-term oncological results. As well as carrying out active surveillance of the rest of the gland».

There are different types of focal therapy and in the
Ruber International Hospital
Three different techniques are used: cryotherapy, HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) and electroporation.

“Cryotherapy is a cold-based energy source and can be applied in any prostate location», explains Martínez-Salamanca. On the other hand, HIFU “is indicated in posterior tumors of the prostate, near the rectum, while electroporation (high voltage pulses of electrical energy) is quite versatile, although not as versatile as cryotherapy.”

Thanks to these different focal therapy alternatives, it is possible to maintain prostate function in more than 90% of cases, with very few side effects and a very high safety profile, although they require closer monitoring.

But keep in mind that 15% of patients will need some additional treatment. Fortunately, this is not a problem, says the doctor Martinez-Salamanca: “A patient can perfectly operate or be treated with radiotherapy after focal therapy without increasing his risks, compared to what he would have done before focal therapy,” says the doctor Martinez-Salamanca.

Whether due to the need for additional treatment or not meeting the requirements for focal therapy, the
Ruber International Hospital
provides different alternatives.

“Cyberknife”, a radiotherapy technique that reduces the number of sessions needed without reducing oncological safety

Regarding surgical options, the hospital center offers laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, assisted by the

da vinci surgical robot.

As Dr. Antonio Allona explains, «the Da Vinciregardless of being a less invasive surgery, it only has two drawbacks: the patient has to undergo general anesthesia and is a more expensive intervention than the use of conventional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery not assisted by the Da Vinci robot. Other than that, it’s all pluses.”

Radiotherapy treatment is also a valid option. In particular, the
ruber international
has the robotic radiosurgery system «Cyberknife»a radiotherapy technique that reduces the number of sessions required without reducing oncological safety.

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