Chesapeake Urology remains on the leading edge of the latest treatments for prostate cancer. Some treatments are still investigational only, while other therapies are only offered as part of clinical trials. For more information about these investigational therapies, ask your physician.
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy, or SBRT, refers to the delivery of very high doses of radiation in one hour treatment sessions administered in up to five sessions over a two week period. It is sometimes referred to as the brand name "Cyberknife." For prostate cancer, SBRT, has had limited research studies to demonstrate whether or not it has similar, inferior or superior side effects and results as compared with IG-IMRT and brachytherapy.
SBRT has not been endorsed as a standard treatment of care for prostate cancer. Chesapeake Urology does not currently recommend a treatment method that has not been established as a standard of care.
Proton beam refers to a type of external beam radiation therapy which uses charged particles that can deposit their energy over a short distance. Proton beam is still in the investigational phase for the treatment of prostate cancer and it is not clear whether or not this therapy will have similar, inferior or superior long-term results as compared to IG-IMRT or brachytherapy.
Therapies in Clinical Trials
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, is an acoustic ablation technology that harnesses the power of ultrasound waves to destroy tissue in areas of the body that are hard to reach with traditional treatments. A beam of high intensity ultrasound is emitted to target and destroy prostate cancer cells and can be used for localized prostate cancer. HIFU kills the cancer cells by raising the temperature inside the prostate to 85 degrees centigrade. The ultrasound beam is delivered by inserting a probe into the rectum and is performed using spinal or epidural anesthesia.
HIFU is an experimental treatment and is currently not approved for use in the United States. It is only being utilized within the United States as part of an investigative clinical trial. Clinics can be found in Europe, Central America, Asia, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. Chesapeake Urology has physicians trained to provide this treatment, and they are available to discuss this option with you.
Focal therapy is another approach to the treatment of prostate cancer that is currently in clinical trials. To date, there is not enough efficacy data to support this as a standard treatment. Focal therapy can be used for men with localized prostate cancer, or cancer that is confined to one small area of the prostate. Only this small cancerous area is ablated to eradicate the cancer, rather than removing or ablating the entire prostate gland. The thought is that this approach will cause fewer complications and side effects associated with the removal of the entire prostate gland. Because focal therapy only treats a part of the prostate, the possibility of microscopic prostate cancer cells remaining in the untreated prostate tissue exists.
See a full list of clinical trials in which Chesapeake Urology participates.