At the moment, if you have surgery for PC and it does not work, the usual course is to try salvage radiation therapy. That is what my husband underwent last year. Fortuntely, his first post-treatment PSA reading was undetectable. But our next appointment with the doctor is in October, so I am already getting a bit weak-kneed.
The problem is that some men will fail secondary therapy as well, and then the options aren’t that good. You can have hormone therapy or chemotherapy, neither of which is very easy to take. So what we really need are some minimally invasive treatments for recurrent prostate cancer that has not responded to salvage radiation.
There are two promising therapies in the pipeline, photodynamic (which goes by the name “Tookad”), and High Intensity Focus Ultrasound (HIFU). You may be familiar with HIFU, as it is approved for use in treating localized PC in Canada and Europe. Clinical trials testing both photodynamic therapy and HIFU in patients who have failed salvage radiotherapy for PC are underway. So if anyone is interested, here’s some information.
HIFU for Locally Recurrent PC After Salvage Radiation
What it is: HIFU is a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultrasound energy to destroy cancerous tissue with focused sound waves. The Sonablate(R) 500, the therapeutic ultrasound device which will be used in the study, is designed to destroy the entire gland in one procedure without causing damage to tissue around the prostate.
Clinical Trial: A new Phase III clinical trial, sponsored by the Focus Surgery, the maker of Sonablate, is investigating the safety and efficacy of HIFU for the treatment of locally recurrent prostate cancer following failed external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).