Latest treatment for prostate cancer
This non-invasive targeted therapy treatment will allow cancer patients to have less impotence and reduced urine incontinence.
There is currently a new non-invasive targeted therapy treatment for prostate cancer using Robotic High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) with a device called Focal One. The treatment will allow cancer patients to have less impotence as well as reduced urine incontinence.
Ageless Online speaks to Dr Chong Kian Tai, a urologist for PanAsia Surgery (Singapore), about this latest treatment:
Can you talk about Focal One and how it works?
The Focal One machine was approved in June 2018 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do accurate focal therapy for prostate tissues. It uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat early-stage prostate cancer that is still localised within the prostate gland.
How does this differ from current treatment methods?
Current methods to treat localised prostate cancer include major surgery, radiotherapy or active surveillance. Focal therapy for prostate cancer is another treatment option, which includes HIFU and cryotherapy. This treatment method aims to destroy prostate cancer areas and does not damage the non-targeted areas.
The Focal One device uses HIFU technology to do focal therapy for localised prostate cancer. This device combines the use of a robotic-assisted platform, MRI-ultrasound image fusion and prostate biopsy mapping to give a more accurate and dependable treatment.
What impact does this device have on the treatment of prostate cancer?
The Focal One device allows precise treatment of prostate cancer areas and reduces damage to healthy prostate tissues. After treatment, patients with localised prostate cancer will have less urine incontinence, less impotence and less sexual dysfunction compared to other major surgeries.
How many have used this technology in your clinic and what has been the results?
The Focal One device started its first patient treatment in Singapore in November. Clinical data on patients treated in other countries has shown it to be successful.
Are there potential risks or drawbacks to using this technology?
The potential risks using HIFU technology is the slightly higher chance of cancer recurrence compared to major surgeries.
Majority of patients do not have cancer recurrence. Hence, for some patients who have cancer recurrence, patients can choose to repeat another HIFU session, or continue to treat with major surgery or radiotherapy.
When do you see this technology being adopted as a regular treatment method for prostate cancer?
The Focal One device is suitable for selected patients with localised prostate cancer. It is already a regular treatment option in many countries for appropriately selected patients.
Do you see this technology being used for other cancers like breast cancer?
The Focal One device is designed to do HIFU focal therapy of prostate cancer only.
Is this technology prevalent in the US and Europe?
The Focal One device is designed by EDAP TMS from France. It received European CE mark in 2013 and US FDA approval in 2018. This device is dedicated to focal therapy of prostate cancer by HIFU technology.
Is your clinic the only one currently using this technology in Singapore?
As of November 2019, our urologists are the only two specialist doctors in Singapore who are approved and trained by EDAP TMS to use the Focal One device.
How much is this treatment?
In private hospitals, this treatment using the Focal One device is cheaper than major surgery using the da Vinci robotic system.
Does this consist of one treatment or does the patient come back for several?
Treatment using the Focal One device is one-time and single-session only. For many patients, it is done as a day-surgery procedure and they are discharged on the same day.