What is it?
Focal therapy is a growing minimally invasive treatment option for patients with low to intermediate risk prostate cancer that is completely contained (localized) within the prostate. An estimated 1.2 million patients are diagnosed with localized prostate cancer each year in the world (source: WHO Global Cancer Observatory (iarc.fr). Focal therapy could offer them significant improvements over today’s standard of care.
Today’s Standard of Care for Prostate Cancer Treatment
Two main approaches to managing localized prostate cancer are today considered as standard of care. The first is the so called “active surveillance”. In these cases, regular tests are performed to monitor the development or progression of the cancer. As long as the cancer is stable, no other actions are taken. If the cancer is starting to spread, treatment will be offered. Of those patients on active surveillance, about one-third will eventually need treatment. Being on active surveillance has shown to be mentally stressful for some patients.
The second approach to managing localized prostate cancer is the use of radiation or surgery. This is effective for removing any tumors present but is typically associated with unpleasant side effects influencing quality of life, such as loss of control over urinary functions (incontinence) and erectile dysfunction.
Focal Therapy offers potentially significant advantages over Standard of Care
Focal therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that targets and ablates (destroys) only specific parts of glands, organs, and tissue needing treatment, while preserving the surrounding and remaining tissue. This generally produces faster recovery, fewer side effects, and less pain and discomfort for patients that may not be good candidates or are inoperable for traditional open surgery.
Focal therapy offers to preserve these vital functions while still treating the cancer effectively. Focal therapy concentrates on treating “the index lesion,” which is usually defined as a tumor visible on MRI. By precisely targeting and destroying index lesions with focal therapy, the cancer tumor can be effectively treated while preserving surrounding tissue and minimizing side effects.
In a European Urology consensus meeting, it was agreed, with a high level of consensus, that focal therapy should be recommended for intermediate-risk patients (ref: Donaldson et al, 2015).
Laser Ablation in Prostate Focal Therapy
TRANBERG™ Thermal Therapy System is used to provide laser focal therapy of localized prostate cancer. The procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed at a urology clinic or radiology department. Side effects are minimal and typically the patient can return quickly to normal life.
Image and needle guidance is used for navigating and positioning the sterile introducer and laser applicator at the correct location in the target tissue, using either the transrectal or transperineal access path. The TRANBERG system can be seamlessly integrated with an existing ultrasound fusion system in conjunction with a (stereotactic) needle guide system and a workflow very similar to that used for targeted biopsies. Our solutions for real-time monitoring and control of the procedure enable the physician to personalize and optimize the treatment for each patient.