Treating Low-Risk, Localized Prostate Cancer Using MRI-Guided Focal Laser Therapy.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the largest of the institutes comprising the National Insitutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda and Frederick, Maryland is sponsoring a clinical trial for men who have slow-growing prostate cancer confined to a small portion of the prostate gland (low-volume disease). In this pilot study which is being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, “men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer and men with suspected prostate cancer will undergo advanced magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) techniques developed at NCI to visualize the prostate and tumor tissue in high detail and guide a biopsy to that area. The men will then be treated at a later date using MRI-guided focal laser ablation therapy to only the area of the prostate that has cancer.” Guided by MRI, a laser fiber will be inserted into the tumor nodule and used to locally heat the tumor. MRI will be used to watch in real-time as the heat from the laser destroys the tumor while leaving the remaining prostate gland intact and surrounding nerves and muscles controlling urination and erections unharmed.  This study will assess the feasibility and safety of this therapy intended to treat only the area of the prostate where the tumor is located. For more information, see the article from the July 10th, 2012 issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin.

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