Beaumont first in U.S. to treat prostate cancer with MRI-guided ultrasound therapy

2/17/2014

Research study testing effectiveness of new outpatient treatment for localized prostate cancer

Dr. James Relle, urologist (right), and Dr. Kiran Nandalur,
radiologist, review MRI images of a prostate cancer patient.

Urologists at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak are first in the U.S. to treat localized prostate cancer with a transurethral ultrasound therapy guided by magnetic resonance imaging. The experimental treatment is designed to potentially reduce the long-term complications of traditional prostate cancer treatments.

The first treatment on Jan. 25 marked the launch of the Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation research study at Beaumont evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a new medical device developed by Profound Medical Inc. of Canada.

The new, single treatment, outpatient procedure uses MRI guidance to allow physicians to precisely target the delivery of thermal (heat) therapy to the prostate gland with an ultrasound device inserted in the urethra. Ultrasound is a procedure in which high-energy sound waves are aimed directly at an area of abnormal cells or tissue in the body. The waves create heat that kills cells. The direct targeting with MRI is designed to spare nearby nerves and organs, such as the bladder, rectum and colon, from damage, potentially reducing treatment side effects.

“Traditional prostate cancer treatments - surgery and radiation therapy - provide good local control of the disease, but can leave men with significant long-term complications affecting urinary, bowel and sexual function,” says James Relle, M.D., urologist and co-principal investigator of the Beaumont study. “These issues can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life.”

“A better understanding of the natural history of prostate cancer has led us to focus on less invasive or less radical treatments,” says Jason Hafron, M.D., urologist, and co-principal investigator of the study. “As more men are diagnosed with prostate cancer through earlier screening and detection, we are focusing on development of treatment options with fewer long-term complications affecting quality of life.”

To be eligible for the study, patients must meet criteria, including:

  • Be a male, 65 years of age or older
  • Have low-risk, early-stage, organ-confined prostate cancer
  • Be eligible for magnetic resonance imaging
  • Able to tolerate general anesthesia
  • Have biopsy confirmed cancer of the prostate
  • Not have a bleeding disorder
  • Not have a latex allergy
  • Not have a history of any major rectal or pelvic surgery
  • Not currently treated with antidepressant drugs

Research participants will be followed for a minimum of 12 months, including monitoring of quality of life and for signs of cancer recurrence.

For more information on study enrollment, call Maureen Cooney at 248-551-9477.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer in American men. About one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with the risk being highest after age 60. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer forms in tissues of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine flows. A healthy prostate is about the size of a walnut. If the prostate grows too large, it squeezes the urethra. This may slow or stop the normal flow of urine.

About Beaumont Urology

Beaumont urologists offer endoscopic, robotic and laparoscopic surgical options as well as traditional surgeries. They also specialize in treatment for kidney stones; painful bladder conditions such as overactive bladder and incontinence; sexual dysfunction; urologic cancer; prostate conditions; male infertility; voiding dysfunction; and erectile dysfunction. In 2010, Beaumont opened a Women’s Urology Center, the first center in the Midwest dedicated and designed for women’s urological care and sexual dysfunction. Beaumont, Royal Oak is ranked on U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list for urology. Find out more at http://www.beaumont.edu/urology.