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Urology. 2007 Jun;69(6):1117-20.

Focal cryosurgery: encouraging health outcomes for unifocal prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA.



Owing to the ability to better detect small-volume tumors, we have seen an increasing population of men with low-risk unifocal prostate cancer. We report our safety and efficacy experience of focal cryoablation of the prostate to maintain potency and preserve genitourinary function in men with localized, unifocal disease.


From June 2002 to December 2005, 25 patients with primary unifocal prostate cancer were treated with focal cryoablation of the prostate. The patients were followed up with physical examinations, morbidity questionnaires, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) determinations every 3 months for the first year and every 6 to 12 months thereafter. Patients with a PSA nadir greater than 1.0 ng/mL or a nadir plus 2 ng/mL underwent repeat biopsy to assess for cancer recurrence.


The median age was 68 years (range 48 to 78). The median preoperative PSA level was 6.0 ng/mL, and the postoperative PSA nadir was 2.4 ng/mL. The median follow-up was 28 months. Seventeen patients remained potent. No patients reported worsened lower urinary tract symptoms, incontinence, rectal pain, perineal discomfort, or fistula formation. The median PSA nadir was 2.4 ng/mL, and 40% of patients had a PSA nadir of less than 1.0 ng/mL. Of the 25 patients, 21 (84%) had not experienced biochemical failure, defined as a greater than 50% PSA nadir reduction. Seven patients underwent repeat biopsy, and prostate cancer was detected in the contralateral gland in 2 patients and in the area of previous cryosurgery in 1 patient.


Focal cryoablation of the prostate has exhibited minimal morbidity and promising efficacy in our 3-year observation. Longer follow-up is necessary to determine its role in the treatment of patients with low-risk unifocal prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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