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J Urol. 2009 Oct;182(4):1371-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2009.06.035. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Image guided photothermal focal therapy for localized prostate cancer: phase I trial.

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  • 1Surgical Oncology, Urology Division, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



We ascertained the feasibility and safety of image guided targeted photothermal focal therapy for localized prostate cancer.


Twelve patients with biopsy proven low risk prostate cancer underwent interstitial photothermal ablation of the cancer. The area of interest was confirmed and targeted using magnetic resonance imaging. Three-dimensional ultrasound was used to guide a laser to the magnetic resonance to ultrasound fused area of interest. Target ablation was monitored using thermal sensors and real-time Definity contrast enhanced ultrasound. Followup was performed with a combination of magnetic resonance imaging and prostate biopsy. Validated quality of life questionnaires were used to assess the effect on voiding symptoms and erectile function, and adverse events were solicited and recorded.


Interstitial photothermal focal therapy was technically feasible to perform. Of the patients 75% were discharged home free from catheter the same day with the remainder discharged home the following day. The treatment created an identifiable hypovascular defect which coincided with the targeted prostatic lesion. There were no perioperative complications and minimal morbidity. All patients who were potent before the procedure maintained potency after the procedure. Continence levels were not compromised. Based on multicore total prostate biopsy at 6 months 67% of patients were free of tumor in the targeted area and 50% were free of disease.


Image guided focal photothermal ablation of low risk and low volume prostate cancer is feasible. Early clinical, histological and magnetic resonance imaging responses suggest that the targeted region can be ablated with minimal adverse effects. It may represent an alternate treatment approach to observation or delayed standard therapy in carefully selected patients. Further trials are required to demonstrate the effectiveness of this treatment concept.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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