Purpose of review
The shift in the diagnostic algorithm for prostate cancer to early imaging with mpMRI has resulted in many patients being diagnosed with small volume, apparently unilateral, clinically significant cancers. In these patients, a minimally invasive, nonmorbid intervention is appealing. The aim of this study was to review data reported within the last 2 years on focal therapy and partial gland ablation for organ-confined prostate cancer.
High-intensity focal ultrasound, focal cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, irreversible electroporation and focal laser ablation, have been used as treatment modalities for localized prostate cancer treatment. The reported oncologic outcomes vary widely and makes comparisons challenging. All the focal therapies report low rates of complications, and high rates of continence and erectile function preservation. The most common adverse events are hematuria, urinary retention and urinary tract infections. During this period, the initial results of several new technologies including MRI-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation were published.
Focal therapy and partial gland ablation for organ-confined prostate cancer is an option for patients with intermediate-risk disease because of its low complication profile and preservation of QOL. Trials comparing the outcome of different focal therapy technologies have not been carried out, and the existing evidence does not point to one approach being clearly superior to others. Long-term oncologic outcome is lacking. Despite this, for men with unilateral intermediate-risk prostate cancer whose disease is often relatively indolent, focal therapy is an appealing option.