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MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound Therapy Shows Promise in Treating Prostate Cancer

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 15 Mar 2024
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Image: MRgFUS can successfully treat prostate cancer for those at intermediate risk (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: MRgFUS can successfully treat prostate cancer for those at intermediate risk (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) therapy is used by clinicians and interventional radiologists to precisely target specific areas for treatment, including prostate cancer. Previous studies have shown that this method can save more healthy tissue than traditional treatments, but the long-term effects of MRgFUS for prostate cancer have been unclear until now. A new study has demonstrated that MRgFUS is effective for treating intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients, with no negative side effects observed two years post-treatment.

In the single-center study, a research team at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) conducted a study focusing on the two-year outcomes for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer treated with transrectal MRgFUS from 2016 to 2019. The study involved 44 men, with a median age of 67, including 36 participants with a grade group of 2 and eight with a grade group of 3, indicating intermediate risk necessitating intervention. The treatment aimed to include a 10-mm margin around the target area whenever possible. Participants were asked to complete quality-of-life surveys six weeks after treatment and again at five, 12, 18, and 24 months. Information on any adverse events was also collected. To verify their results, the researchers conducted multiparametric MRI and both targeted and systematic biopsies at the 24-month mark.

The study found MRgFUS treatment to be highly successful, with no significant adverse events reported. One individual declined the biopsy at 24 months, but among the rest, 39 out of 43 (91%) showed no signs of clinically significant prostate cancer at the treated site, and 36 (84%) had no cancer throughout the entire gland two years later. Additionally, there were no significant changes in scores for erectile function or prostate symptoms over the two-year period, suggesting no decrease in the quality of life after undergoing MRgFUS treatment. These results support the broader use of MRgFUS for selected patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer.

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