Prostate Cancer: Advanced Options Are Improving Outcomes
Prostate cancer treatment has improved dramatically in recent years. The advanced therapies available to Fox Chase Cancer Center patients are improving outcomes, reducing side effects, and giving people with prostate cancer a better quality of life.
That advancement is ongoing—and Fox Chase is at the forefront of it, bringing our patients game-changing technology and access to promising clinical trials. Here are just a few of the recent developments:
Focal therapy with NanoKnife. As the only site in Pennsylvania participating in the PRESERVE trial—which stands for Pivotal Study of the NanoKnife System for the Ablation of Prostate Tissue—Fox Chase specialists are evaluating the NanoKnife System as a new way to target prostate cancer cells.
Instead of removing the prostate or using radiation therapy, the NanoKnife treatment uses high-voltage—and highly targeted—electricity to destroy cancer cells. Tiny probes are used to target the cancer while sparing the healthy part of the prostate.
The NanoKnife treatment used in the PRESERVE trial is a type of focal therapy. The goal is to offer an effective treatment with a reduced risk of side effects or damage to sexual and urinary function.
At Fox Chase, we already offer two additional types of focal therapy. Cryoablation, which uses cold to destroy cancer cells, and high-intensity focused ultrasound, which uses high-intensity sound waves to produce heat.
Hypofractionation. At Fox Chase, radiation oncologists use traditional linear accelerators or CyberKnife technology to offer hypofractionation therapy. This advanced technology delivers more doses of radiation per treatment than traditional radiation therapy. This means patients can complete their course of radiation much faster—saving time and money and potentially cutting down on side effects.
Our specialists deliver hypofractionation on regular linear accelerators or the CyberKnife, a linear accelerator on a robotic arm. We initiated one of the largest American clinical studies about hypofractionation and have proven that the therapy is just as safe and effective as conventional radiation therapy.
Personalized care. Systemic therapy—which includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy—treats cancer isn’t one-size-fits-all. Instead, a multidisciplinary care team considers each patient’s condition and needs to determine an individualized therapy—or combination of therapies.
That might include androgen deprivation therapy, a type of hormone therapy used to slow the growth of prostate cancer. Hormone therapy is often reversible, unlike orchiectomy (removal of the testes), which was used in the past.
Chemotherapy is used to fight cancer cells throughout the body—even when they’re too small to be detected.
In some cases, Fox Chase oncologists use immunotherapy treatments tailor-made from the patient’s own immune cells, stimulating their immune system to recognize and kill prostate cancer cells as they grow.
Active surveillance. In some cases, the best approach to prostate cancer is not to treat it at all—yet. “Watchful waiting” means monitoring the cancer but delaying any treatment. Advanced imaging technology, including ultrasound/MRI fusion technology, make it easier to assess and observe these cancers. Patients can trust that this approach won’t affect their chances of survival.
They’ll also avoid side effects from therapies they may never need: Many prostate cancers never require treatment. And, because prostate cancer treatment is constantly improving, if a patient does need to pursue treatment down the road, the delay may allow them to benefit from newer and safer options.
If you have prostate cancer, advances in treatment may be able to improve your outcomes—and your quality of life. At major cancer centers like Fox Chase, you can count on care from experienced experts who are at the forefront of care. Our patients have access to the latest techniques and technologies—including clinical trials.
To request a consultation at Fox Chase, call our appointment line at 888-369-2427 or visit our online appointment request page.