Innovative New Prostate Cancer Technique 'Zaps' Tumours Without Any Major Side-Effects

25/04/2016 10:28 | Updated 25 April 2016

An experimental new treatment for prostate cancer could soon spare thousands of men the incontinence and sex-life problems that come with having the entire organ removed.

The revolutionary new technique essentially 'cooks' the tumour by using highly-targeted ultrasound waves which then leaves all the surrounding tissue unharmed.

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Before, surgeons would need to remove the entire prostate which then comes with a range of side-effects including incontinence and impotence.

The new procedure allows the surgeon to simply type the exact coordinates of the tumour into a computer and let it do the rest.

A thin ultrasound beam then heats the tumour to around 90-degrees destroying the targeted area.

While this procedure alone already exists, the barrier has always been accuracy. Surgeons would need to take an MRI first and then carry out the procedure afterwards, this is because the ultrasound device is usually made of steel.

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Now however a High Intensity Focused Ultrasound has been developed using plastic allowing the team to carry out a live MRI at the same time as the procedure, providing them with the vital accuracy they need.

The team who are trialling the procedure at St Mary's Hospital in London have said that HiFu can only help patients with a certain type of prostate cancer however they believe it could help as many as 6,000 men every year if all goes to plan.

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