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Focal Therapy

Tim Dudderidge - Focal Therapy
“In Focal Therapy, the aim is to get rid of the cancer that is causing concern whilst ensuring that the patient does not become incontinent and has a much lower chance of losing erectile function.”

Mr Tim Dudderidge, Urological Consultant at University Hospital, Southampton

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The goal of Focal Therapy is to treat only the area of the prostate gland with the aggressive tumour while leaving the rest of the prostate and its surrounding structures alone. This approach is already widely accepted in other types of cancer treatment. For instance, we commonly treat kidney cancers by removing or ablating only the tumour while leaving the rest of the kidney intact.

Over the last ten years, Focal Therapy for the prostate has caught up, mainly due to the development of precision imaging of the prostate with MRI so that clinicians can see the precise location, size and grade of cancerous lesions.

 

 

Evolution of Precision Diagnostics

MRI scanning and precision biopsy underpin Focal Therapy. Since the early 2000s, multiparametric MRI scanning has allowed us to identify the location within the prostate gland that has cancer. Precision biopsies, especially trans-perineal biopsies, mean that we can now definitively confirm which areas have cancer and which do not.

 

Targeted Treatment

With this information, precise treatment plans can be created to ensure that the areas of clinically significant cancer are fully ablated using Focal Therapy, with an appropriate margin to minimise any risk of recurrence.

 

“Now you can see the location of prostate cancer using advanced MRI techniques and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, you can also treat those spots with focal therapy. What we’ve been doing with prostate cancer is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.”

Mr Alan Doherty, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

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Techniques of Focal Therapy

A variety of focal techniques can be used to kill cells: the most beneficial one with by far the strongest amount of clinical evidence is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Other techniques which are currently being used, or are emerging, are cryotherapy (freezing), laser-based tissue ablation systems, and electroporation (Nanoknife).

Advances in accurate imaging and targeted biopsies have vastly improved the success of Focal Therapy. Early, accurate diagnosis and Focal Therapy work hand in glove.

More information on focal therapy and why it’s so effective:

 

Get In Touch

As a group of consultants we are passionate about prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.

We know that settling on the right treatment is a big decision for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient advocates about your diagnosis and the HIFU Focal Therapy treatment option then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

All enquiries to The Focal Therapy Clinic are confidential, and we are delighted to offer our advice and support with no obligation.