The main concern of many men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer is becoming incontinent or impotent after receiving the treatment. When you are diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age, becoming impotent may be devastating for your marriage or relationship. Also, incontinence is another big issue affecting the quality of life of many prostate cancer patients.
In the last decade, robotic prostatectomy has proved to be the optimal prostate cancer treatment for patients with localized, early-intermediate stage disease. Robotic prostate surgery is still the procedure that allows a specialized surgeon to achieve the so-called “treatment trifecta”. Treatment trifecta represents the standard in Dr. David Samadi’s medical practice, a surgery being a success only if the sexual and urinary functions are preserved and the patient is cancer-free. What is more, the recovery period after a daVinci robotic prostate surgery is minimal, the patient being able to resume his daily activities soon after the surgical intervention.
A revolutionary treatment – TULSA – Clinical Trial
TULSA stands for Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation of the Prostate. This treatment therapy combines three advanced medical procedures in order to offer a minimally invasive, pain-free prostate cancer treatment with the best outcomes in terms of potency and continence.
Basically, the therapy uses targeted sound waves that have the role of eliminating only the cancerous tissues, without affecting the healthy nearby organs or areas. This way, the recovery period is minimal, with short-term side effects.
The main steps of the TULSA Treatment
- TULSA is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. A new study has found that the average time for this procedure is even less than an hour. First of all, the patient is placed on the patient table. A tiny rod called “Ultrasound Applicator” is positioned through the urethra inside the prostate, where it uses heat via sound waves to destroy the cancerous cells. Along with the Ultrasound Applicator, an endorectal cooling device is also inserted through the rectum, to ensure that the nearby organs and tissues are not affected by the ultrasounds. Also, a supra-pubic catheter is applied.
- MRI imaging is used in order to customize treatment planning. MRI is a medical imaging technique that is used to form pictures of the anatomy of the prostate gland. Magnetic resonance imaging uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to form images of the prostate, helping doctors have a better understanding of the prostate’s specific condition. By using real-time MRIs, the doctor is able to guide and target the sound waves generated by the Ultrasound Applicator in order to destroy the cancerous tissue and spare the nerves surrounding the walnut-sized organ, the prostate.
- A software algorithm is used to control the sound waves, the strength, direction, and shape of the ultrasound beam. This software is connected to the MRI imaging system, which dictates the direction and power of the ultrasounds, based on the prostate’s condition and localization of the tumor.
- MRI imaging is also used to verify treatment efficiency by confirming Ablation Margins. This way, the doctor has clear evidence that the entire cancerous cells have been destroyed, not allowing any cancerous cell to exist any longer.
What may be the potential benefits of TULSA?
- Minimally invasive treatment. TULSA requires no incision and no tissue cutting. Patients who participated in the clinical trial have shortly returned to their normal activities.
- The treatment is customized based on patient’s needs. During the MRI, the doctor gets a clear and precise view of how much cancer has spread. Based on this information, he can decide where to target the ultrasounds for a better cure.
- TULSA treatment is radiation-free. As it was previously stated, TULSA uses High-Intensity Ultrasounds, not ionizing radiation that may cause long-term negative side-effects.
- Outpatient medical procedure. Due to the fact that the entire procedure lasts less than an hour and it involves no cutting, the patient can go home the same day or the day following the procedure, depending on his recovery after the general anesthesia.
- Preservation of the erectile and urinary functions. Nerve-sparing is ensured due to the MRI guided procedure and the usage of the endorectal cooling device. Depending on the cancer stage, most patients involved in the trial, have experienced fast recovery of their sexual and urinary functions, contributing to a better quality of life.
Who may be eligible for TULSA treatment?
TULSA has been developed to help patients diagnosed with early-stage, localized prostate cancer, due to the fact that it targets the cancerous cells inside the prostate gland. Patients with low to intermediate-risk prostate cancer may highly benefit from this treatment. A specialized physician is the one who can give you customized advice.