Focal cryotherapy for localized prostate cancer


A new review article on the use of focal cryotherapy in the treatment of localized prostate cancer has recently been published in the journal Cancer Control. The full text of this article by Nguyen et al. is also available on the Medscape web site.

As the article makes clear, the detailed published data on the clinical use of focal cryotherapy from specific series of patients are still very limited. However, the Cryosurgery On-Line Database (COLD) registry now includes a total of 1,160 men who have been treated with focal cryotherapy. Of these 1,160 men, 47 percent were classified as having low-risk prostate cancer, 41 percent had intermediate-risk disease, and 12 percent had high-risk disease.

According to the authors of this review:

  • The 3-year biochemical-free survival  of men in the COLD registry having focal cryotherapy was 74.7 percent (comparable to the survival of patients in the COLD database treated with whole-gland cryotherapy).
  • Spontaneous erections were maintained in 58.1 percent of patients.
  • Urinary continence was maintained in 98.4 percent of patients.

The authors conclude that, based on their review of the available data,

Focal cryotherapy yields short-term biochemical disease-free survival comparable to whole gland treatment modalities in men with low-risk prostate cancer while providing better functional outcomes.

However, they also point out that many of the men treated with focal cryotherapy might well have been managed effectively on active surveillance; that median follow-up times are still short when it comes to assessment of biochemical recurrence-free survival; and that there is considerable variation in the quality of the data that is available on individual patients in the COLD registry.

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