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Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2013 Aug;25(8):461-73. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Focal therapy for prostate cancer: rationale and treatment opportunities.

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Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences, University College London, UK.


Focal therapy is an emerging treatment modality for localised prostate cancer that aims to reduce the morbidity seen with radical therapy, while maintaining cancer control. Focal therapy treatment strategies minimise damage to non-cancerous tissue, with priority given to the sparing of key structures such as the neurovascular bundles, external sphincter, bladder neck and rectum. There are a number of ablative technologies that can deliver energy to destroy cancer cells as part of a focal therapy strategy. The most widely investigated are cryotherapy and high-intensity focussed ultrasound. Existing radical therapies, such as brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy, also have the potential to be applied in a focal manner. The functional outcomes of focal therapy from several phase I and II trials have been encouraging, with low rates of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Robust medium- and long-term cancer control outcomes are currently lacking. Controversies in focal therapy remain, notably treatment paradigms based on the index lesion hypothesis, appropriate patient selection for focal therapy and how the efficacy of focal therapy should be assessed. This review articles discusses the current status of focal therapy, highlighting controversies and emerging strategies that can influence treatment outcomes for the future.


Focal ablation; focal therapy; future perspective; outcomes; prostate cancer; rationale

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