Friday, 17 June 2016

Good news for future treatment...

Laser that can zap prostate tumours: Pioneering therapy could stop thousands of men needing surgery 

  • Technology 'fuses' MRI scanner with ultrasound to identify diseased cells
  • A precisely targeted laser fibre is then heated up to annihilate them
  • Expert says procedure is 'akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer' 


A pioneering therapy using high powered laser beams may cure prostate cancer, according to research.
The sci-fi style technology doesn't require surgery and has already been successful in zapping the tumours of 19 men.
It 'fuses' an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner with ultrasound to identify diseased cells. A precisely targeted laser fibre is then heated up to annihilate them.
A pioneering therapy using high powered laser beams may cure prostate cancer, according to research (stock image)
A pioneering therapy using high powered laser beams may cure prostate cancer, according to research (stock image)

Urologist Professor Leonard Marks, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said: 'Our feeling was if you can see prostate cancer using the fusion MRI and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, why not stick a laser fibre in the tumour the same way to kill it.
'This is akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer.
'Instead of removing the whole organ, target just the cancer inside it.
'What we are doing with prostate cancer now is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.'
The technique, called focal laser ablation, was first used on eight participants by guiding the laser fibre into the cancerous tissue just with MRI.

Six months later there were no serious side effects or changes in urinary or sexual function.

A follow up study involving eleven subjects then showed the clinical potential of the therapy using a machine known as Artemis that combines both MRI and ultrasound.
The procedure was well tolerated under local anaesthetic, after four months, they have also had no problems.
Prof Marks said if the laser treatment proves effective in further studies it could mean thousands of men avoiding surgery and radiation, which can result in erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
The sci-fi style technology doesn't require surgery and has already been successful in zapping the tumours of 19 men (stock image)
The sci-fi style technology doesn't require surgery and has already been successful in zapping the tumours of 19 men (stock image)
Up until now, capturing an image of a prostate cancer has been difficult because the healthy and tumour tissue appear so similar.
Accurate non invasive treatment has proved difficult as a result.
The new fusion imaging method provides real time ultrasound that more clearly delineates the tumour.
It has already proved successful at performing biopsies in difficult to diagnose prostate cancers.
Such biopsies are usually 'blind,' meaning physicians take a tissue sample based on what they believe is the location of a possible tumour.
The researchers say they have proved in principle laser ablation can be done safely and effectively with MRI, although longer term follow-up is needed as well as continued assessment to ensure cure,
Prof Marks said: 'This focal therapy provides a middle ground for men to choose between radical prostatectomy and active surveillance, between doing nothing and losing the prostate.
'This is a new and exciting concept for prostate cancer treatment.'
The laser treatment is not yet approved for use in prostate cancer by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Added Prof Marks: 'I think we were so successful in this effort because of the experience we gained doing the targeted biopsies.
'That allowed us to go from biopsy to treatment.'
The first study has been published in the Journal of Urology, while the second was presented at the American Urology Association meeting in San Diego.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3640085/Laser-zap-prostate-tumours-Pioneering-therapy-stop-thousands-men-needing-surgery.html#ixzz4Boqy1YXs
 

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