Prostate cancer is the most common form of malignancy amongst men. Thanks to improvement in early detection techniques, the percentage of patients diagnosed at an early stage has significantly increased over the past few decades. Recently, specialists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute have developed a quick, safe, non-surgical treatment for prostate cancer. The new method will eliminate common prostatectomy side effects such as urinary symptoms and erectile dysfunction.
At present, patients diagnosed with prostate cancer find themselves facing a choice between surgery and radiation therapy. Both these treatment techniques carry the risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. The third alternative – so-called “active observation” can result in the disease progressing further and metastasizing.
The new treatment for prostate cancer will eliminate the need to make this tough choice between an invasive treatment and observation and hoping for the best. The new precise technique allows specialists to destroy only the affected section of the prostate. The therapy does not affect potency and bladder control, thus preserving the patients’ quality of life.
Treatment begins with a 10 minute IV injection of Tookad Soluble. It is important to emphasize that the agent will not damage normal tissue adjacent to the tumour. Immediately following this injection the malignant tissue will be irradiated by laser (through miniature optical fibers).
Targeting a portion of the tumour, the therapy causes a chain reaction that eventually destroys it in its entirety. The adjacent organs (such as the urethra and nerves) remain intact. The procedure only takes 90 minutes to complete. The intravenous agent is evacuated from the body within 3 to 4 hours.
During initial clinical trials in Israel, 80% of the patients who received this treatment remained disease-free for the following year and did not experience any issues related to bladder control or potency. Additional clinical trials from Europe, which involved over 400 patients from 11 different countries, showed consistent results.
Specialists are also hopeful to find applications for the technique beyond treatment for prostate cancer. Two clinical studies involving liver and esophagus cancers are currently ongoing in New York.