Prostate Lumpectomy Could Be New Prostate Cancer Treatment

The term “lumpectomy” is a type of surgery usually associated with breast cancer, but that could change. The authors of a study in The Lancet Oncology report that use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can allow surgeons to perform prostate lumpectomy, in which they remove the tumor only rather than the entire prostate gland in men with prostate cancer.  HIFU is a prostate cancer treatment for disease that has not metastasized.

HIFU is a form of treatment that uses sound waves to heat the tumor and destroy the cancerous tissue in the prostate. This treatment eliminates the tumor without causing damage to nearby structures (including nerves) and is associated with fewer and milder side effects than other prostate cancer therapies.

In the new study, 41 men with localized prostate cancer were treated using HIFU. One year after HIFU treatment, 95% of the men were cancer-free, 10% had erectile dysfunction, and none of the men reported urinary incontinence.

According to the study’s lead author, Hashim Ahmed, a urologist at the University College London, “When you look at the current standard of care, there’s a 1-in-3, or 1-in-2 chance of having the perfect outcome. In this study, after 12 months, it’s a 9-in-10 chance.” The success of this study has prompted Ahmed to begin recruiting for a larger trial in the UK.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.


Ahmed HU et al. Focal therapy for localised unifocal and multifocal prostate cancer: a prospective development study. Lancet Oncology 2012 Jun; 13(6): 622-32