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Curr Oncol Rep. 2003 May;5(3):231-8.

The current and potential role of cryoablation as a primary therapy for localized prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Atchley Pavilion, 11th Floor, Room 1153, 161 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Targeted cryoablation of the prostate has evolved significantly since its reintroduction in the early 1990s. This evolution stems from engineering advancements, procedural refinement, introduction of temperature monitoring, and greater understanding of cryobiology. Recent publications demonstrate durable efficacy for cryoablation, equivalent to other therapies for low-risk disease and possibly superior for moderate- and high-risk prostate cancer. Morbidity following the procedure is mild in comparison with other therapies, with the exception of sexual function impairment. However, longer-term quality-of-life studies show that a significant number of patients return to having intercourse, and late-onset morbidities are not observed. These results contrast with those for radiotherapy--specifically brachytherapy--for which several recent studies document a decline in sexual function, protracted morbidity, and the emergence of late-onset morbidity. Cryoablation is an effective therapy with acceptable morbidity that should be offered as a treatment option to all patients with localized prostate cancer. Furthermore, cryoablation has the potential ability to be tailored to an individual patient's disease. As diagnostic tools and methods continue to advance, it may become possible to target the less aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Focal cryoablation may prove to be an ideal treatment modality in this setting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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