Physicians at UC Health are offering focal therapy as a prostate cancer treatment—a more targeted option that helps spare healthy prostate tissues while destroying only the cancerous areas.
Abhinav Sidana, MD, director of urologic oncology and assistant professor in the Division of Urology at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine, UC Health urologist and member of the UC Cancer Institute, says UC Health is the only system locally offering this treatment using the MRI-ultrasound fusion system.
"In most prostate cancer cases, less than 25 percent of the prostate is affected by the cancer; yet, until recently, we had no way to localize and treat the cancerous area only, so the entire prostate would be removed as an alternative. Removal or radiation of the entire prostate puts the patient at a significant risk of impotence and developing urinary issues,” he says. "With focal therapy, which is similar to a lumpectomy for a breast cancer patient, we are able to target the cancerous area only, treat it more effectively and spare benign prostate tissue thus limiting the side effects of prostate cancer treatment.”
Sidana says focal therapy involves the use of MRI scans as a guidance tool to pinpoint the cancer and specialized equipment to freeze or burn and kill it.
"Dr. Sadhna Verma, an adjunct professor in the Department of Radiology at the UC College of Medicine, is known internationally as a leader in multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging scans for cancer detection,” Sidana says. "Using her expertise in MRI, we can now accurately locate the cancerous areas in the prostate. Patients are selected for this therapy after a thorough review of their clinical condition, pathology and prostate MRI by a team of doctors in the Prostate Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic
, held monthly at the UC Health Barrett Cancer Center.
"Currently, we use freezing (cryoablation) to destroy prostate cancer focally.”
Cryoablation involves inserting needles in the prostate which freeze prostate tissue by releasing gases such as argon and helium
He adds that another focal therapy method called high-intensity focused ultrasound, using the energy of sound waves to superheat and eliminate tumors, will be available in coming months.
"We are excited to be offering this unique treatment locally, giving patients another therapy option that could improve outcomes and their quality of life,” he says.
To schedule an appointment with Sidana, call 513-475-8787 or 513-584-3494, Option 1.