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Cancer. 1996 Apr 15;77(8):1510-4.

Percutaneous, transperineal cryosurgery of the prostate as salvage therapy for post radiation recurrence of adenocarcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



Surgical techniques utilizing the application of very low temperatures to malignant tissues have been used increasingly in recent years in the minimally invasive treatment of prostate cancer. An area of potential application appears to be in the management of radiation resistant prostate cancer.


This study represents a retrospective chart review of 33 patients undergoing cryosurgical ablation of the prostate (CSAP) according to a protocol designed by an institutional review board at a single institution for the treatment of radiation resistant prostate cancer. Radiation resistance was defined as a positive prostate needle biopsy and rising prostate specific antigen (PSA). Treatment effect was assessed by serial post treatment PSA determinations and extensive systematic post treatment prostate needle biopsies.


Of the 33 patients analyzed, 24 converted to an all negative biopsy status after one CSAP treatment. Repeat treatment converted two additional patients to a biopsy negative status. CSAP appeared to lower PSA dramatically in most patients. One year after treatment, of 10 patients not on androgen deprivation therapy, 3 maintained a PSA of < 0.4 ng/mL and those patients with androgen deprivation therapy maintained a PSA of < 4.0 ng/mL. The most frequent complications included sloughing syndrome (15.4%) and incontinence (10.3%).


CSAP appears to eliminate biopsy detectable prostate tumor effectively in the majority of cases in the salvage setting following radiation therapy. A significant discrepancy exists, however, between the biopsy "cure" rate and the biochemical "cure" rate, even in the short term. There is a suggestion that early detection of radiation failure may improve results of this salvage therapy.

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