(HealthDay News) — Targeted focal therapy with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided focused ultrasound ablation is feasible for the treatment of intermediate-risk prostate cancer, according to a study published online in Radiology.

Sangeet Ghai, MD, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a prospective phase II trial involving men with unifocal clinically significant prostate cancer visible at MRI who were treated with transrectal MRI-guided focused ultrasound between February 2016 and July 2019. MR thermography was used to perform real-time ablation monitoring. At treatment completion, nonperfused volume was measured.

The researchers found that all 44 men successfully completed treatment, including 36 and 8 with grade group 2 and 3 disease, respectively. There were no major treatment-related adverse events reported. At five-month biopsy, 41 of the participants (93%) were free of clinically significant prostate cancer at the treatment site. At baseline and at 5 months, both median International Index of Erectile Function-15 (IIEF-15) and International Prostate Symptom Score measurements were similar. Compared with smaller ablations, larger ones (≥15 cm3) were associated with a reduction in IIEF-15 scores at 6 weeks.

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“By combining the high-intensity focused ultrasound device with MRI, we can target our treatment to the exact location, because we’re able to pinpoint precisely where the tumor is,” Ghai said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, including Insightec Ltd., which partially funded the study.


Ghai S, Finelli A, Corr K, et al. MRI-guided focused ultrasound ablation for localized intermediate-risk prostate cancer: early results of a phase II trial. Radiol. doi:10.1148/radiol.2021202717

Tempany-Afdhal CMC. Focal treatment of prostate cancer: MRI helps guide the way forward.
Published online February 2 2021. Radiol. doi:10.1148/radiol.2021204333