The best candidates for the procedure, Onik said, are men with minimal disease who usually don't receive treatment but are monitored. In addition, men who have failed radiation treatment are good candidates, as are men with more severe localized cancer, he said.
Dr. Durado Brooks, director of colon and prostate cancer prevention programs at the American Cancer Society, expressed concern that the freezing technique has not been studied enough to recommend it as a treatment for prostate cancer.
The men who underwent cryoablation were only followed for a few years, he noted. "A lot of the problems, particularly the recurrence of cancer, are in a five- to 10-year window," Brooks said, adding that data are needed on how many of the men treated with cryoablation see a recurrence of their cancer.
"The study does lend some additional credence to the potential value of cryoablation, as long as men recognize that there are significant limitations," Brooks said. "The main one being, we don't have as nearly as long a history on cryoablation as we do on either surgery or radiation treatment."
Also at the meeting, Onik was expected to present the results of another study that used a 3-D biopsy method to identify the extent and grade of prostate cancer. The 3-D method is a correlate to the "male lumpectomy," because it proved to be more accurate in locating the exact site of the tumor, he said.
In the study, 180 men who'd had a standard biopsy underwent 3-D biopsy. The study found that 70 percent of the men would have their prostate cancer treatment changed by the information gleaned from the 3-D procedure.
For example, more than 50 percent of the men whose standard biopsy found prostate cancer on one side of the prostate also had cancer on the oth
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