man-at-lake-1374960The study – on the effectiveness of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat men with localized prostate cancer – featured at the European Association of Urology Congress (EAU16) in Munich, Germany, March 11-15, 2016.

Led by University College Hospital (UCH) in London, UK, the study followed 625 men between 2004-2015, who were treated in the UK and who had localized, non-metastatic tumors; the tumors were in one part of the prostate and had not spread beyond the gland.

Hashim Ahmed, a consultant urological surgeon at UCH, told the meeting that 93% of patients who underwent HIFU alone to remove their prostate tumor were still cancer-free and did not need any surgery or radiotherapy 5 years after treatment. The results follow those of an earlier study by Ahmed and colleagues published in The Lancet Oncology in 2012, where, of 41 men who underwent HIFU, 95% were free of cancer after 12 months. Not one of the patients developed incontinence, and only 1 in 10 suffered erectile dysfunction.

In the new, larger study, which reports medium-term results, only 1-2% of the HIFU patients experienced long-term incontinence, and just 15% suffered erectile dysfunction. These figures compare favorably with men who have surgery, where around 30-60% experience these distressing side effects. Read the full story …