August 16, 2011

Sound Waves Ending Prostate Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire)--A new technique may be able to remove prostate cancer in patients without any incisions. For patients whose cancer returned after radiation treatment was conducted, Tulane University School of Medicine urologist Dr. Benjamin R. Lee has been studying a new clinical trial analyzing this potential treatment.

The treatment is called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, and uses ultrasound energy, sound waves, to quickly heat tissue to destroy cancer cells. The energy for this is directed by an ultrasound probe through the rectal wall, with no incisions made to the body. Ultrasound energy focuses on a specific location in which the temperature rises to nearly 194 degrees Fahrenheit in seconds. Tissue at this focal point is destroyed while the outside tissue remains unharmed.

Dr. Lee was quoted saying, "This is an exciting new treatment option for men with recurrent prostate cancer. Typically, surgery for prostate cancer after radiation has a higher risk for side effects since the radiation affects the tissue's ability to heal."

Doctors are looking to see whether this new treatment is more effective in eliminating cancer with fewer side effects than traditional techniques and therapies. Risks from the traditional surgery, post radiation, include prolonged wound healing, incontinence, rectal injury, and erectile dysfunction.

SOURCE: Tulane University; August 15, 2011