Procedure involves freezing tumor rather than removing entire gland
TUESDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new procedure for prostate cancer that destroys only the part of the gland that is cancerous results in fewer side effects than surgery or radiation therapy, a new study finds.
The so-called "male lumpectomy" is a minimally invasive procedure that freezes part of the prostate. The study suggests that it might prove especially beneficial for men who have local prostate cancer or those for whom radiation has not worked.
"This is a new paradigm where instead of treating the whole gland, you just treat the cancer," said study author Dr. Gary M. Onik, director of the Center for Safer Prostate Cancer Therapy in Orlando, Fla. "We have shown that you have the same advantages in the local treatment of prostate cancer that women have found with local treatment of breast cancer."
In most cases, Onik said, just the cancer -- not the entire prostate gland -- needs to be removed. "You will get as good, if not better, results with a fraction of the complications," he said.
And the procedure virtually eliminates incontinence and impotence, Onik said.
An American Cancer Society representative, however, questions whether the method has been sufficiently studied to recommend it as a treatment.
The results of the study were presented Monday at the Society of Interventional Radiology's annual meeting in San Diego.
For the study, Onik used the freezing technique, called cryoablation, to treat 120 men with prostate cancer. In the procedure, a probe is inserted through the skin, and a doctor uses imaging to guide the needle to the tumor. Once at the site of the tumor, the probe circulates cold gas to freeze and destroy the cancerous tissue.
During an average follow-up of about 3½ years, 112 men showed no recurrence of cancer, though 72 of the men were at high risk of having th
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