Science & Tech

Minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment works as well as traditional techniques

1 min read

Unique treatment also enhances quality of life for patients

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the cause of approximately 29,000 deaths a year. Currently, the most common treatments for prostate cancer include radical prostatectomy (RP) and prostate brachytherapy using transrectal ultrasonography which delivers 100 percent of the radiation dosage to the entire prostate gland, thereby potentially compromising the health of surrounding tissue (rectum) and interposed tissue (urethra). Through a five-year study period, researchers determined that MRI guided prostate brachytherapy, which precisely delivers high-dose radiation to the prostate gland where the cancer arises, produces similar results as those achieved with RP and other techniques. In a study published in the December 2003 issue of the journal Urology, researchers demonstrated that this unique approach upholds current prostate-specific antigen (PSA) control rates five years after treatment, while at the same time significantly improving the quality of life of its sufferers. “This study is part of a larger effort to cure prostate cancer using minimally invasive techniques that preserve quality of life for our patients,” stated the study’s lead author, Anthony D’Amico of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and associate professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School.