The future of focal therapy


Two “pro” and “con” commentaries appeared on line this week in the Journal of Urology under the heading “Focal therapy will become standard treatment for localized prostate cancer.”

In the first of the two articles, Joel Nelson, who is chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Pittsburgh here in the USA, argues that focal therapy is an entirely inappropriate way to treat what is essentially a multi-focal disease. His position is basically that (a) using focal therapy on a wide scale will lead to a large number of men having later, progressive disease and that (b) the ability to exercise salvage forms of therapy in these men will have been compromised by the effects of the first-line focal therapy.

In the second article, Hashim Uddin Ahmed, of the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London in the UK, argues that focal therapy is an entirely appropriate option for the treatment of carefully selected patients, potentially including those who are eligible for active surveillance but unwilling to follow such a route and some patients with potentially clinically significant prostate cancer who have been identified early in their disease development.

Unfortunately, these articles are not accessible to most readers because they have no abstracts and they require a subscription to the Journal of Urology. We mention this pair of articles here because it is clear that the need for appropriate clinical studies to address the pros and cons of focal therapy in a well established manner is growing fast.

One Response

  1. The Sitemaster is right on. We need more published research on targeted focal therapy (TFT) and it’s on the way. More and more men are choosing TFT because it maintains quality of life.

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