A new treatment is expected to revolutionise the treatment of prostate cancer, providing a minimally invasive and relatively low-risk alternative to traditional surgery and radiotherapy, according tomedia Slash Gear. This method, called TULSA, uses sound waves to eliminate diseased tissue in the prostate without harming the rest of the healthy tissue. Patients treated with this method will have “minimal side effects,” the researchers said.
The URORTic Ultrasound Ablation (TULSA) method, which uses MRI to guide the surgical process, involves allowing a stick to enter the prostate through the urethra and using sonic heating in the prostate to destroy cancerous tissue. Unlike surgeries commonly used to treat the disease, TULSA is minimally invasive and can be performed as outpatient surgery.
The North American Society for Radiology (RSNA) recently detailed the technology and noted that treating prostate cancer is particularly difficult because of its small size and special location. Common interventions can have serious side effects, including potential urinary incontinence, impotence and bowel disease.
Using guided and controlled sound waves, doctors are able to use a total of 10 components located on the insertable rod to preserve nerves near the prostate while eliminating diseased tissue. Software algorithms are part of the system – they control the intensity, direction and shape of the ultrasound beam, although doctors look closely at MRI in real time.
A new study of 115 men found that the average treatment time for the process was less than an hour. The researchers found that 80 percent of patients experienced a “clinically significant” cancer elimination, and 72 men had eliminated cancer symptoms after the first year. Similarly, patients undergoing surgery rarely experience side effects such as stool incontinence, and the incidence of impotence is low.