Focal cryoablation preserves potency, continence, study shows

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Focal cryoablation appears to effectively destroy cancerous prostate tumors while preserving a patient?s potency and continence, suggests a study published recently in the Journal of Endourology (2006; 20:688-92).

Focal cryoablation appears to effectively destroy cancerous prostate tumors while preserving a patient’s potency and continence, suggests a study published recently in the Journal of Endourology (2006; 20:688-92).

The study included 31 men (mean age, 63 years) who underwent the focal cryoablation procedure using the Cryocare Surgical System (Endocare, Inc., Irvine, CA) and whose disease was believed to be confined to one sector of the prostate gland. At a mean follow-up of 70 months, 92.8% of patients (26 of 28) remained biochemically disease-free, and 96% (24 of 25) had no evidence of cancer on post-treatment biopsy.

Potency was maintained in 41.8% (13 of 27) of the patients, and 40.7% (11 of 27) of the others were potent with erectile dysfunction drugs, for a total preservation rate of 88.9%. The patients experienced no other complications, such as incontinence, the authors reported.

“Today, we are much more vigilant in diagnosing prostate cancer, and as a result, we are identifying the disease earlier and in younger men,” said lead author Duke K. Bahn, MD, of the Prostate Institute of America, based at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, CA. “The outcomes we are seeing from focal cryoablation demonstrate that many of these patients now have a new option that not only is minimally invasive, but it destroys the cancer, maintains their potency and quality of life, and can even be performed as an outpatient procedure in many cases.”

Further research is needed to confirm the findings, Dr. Bahn said.

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