SAN DIEGO – The Prostate Center of San Diego has opened its doors in La Jolla, bringing to the San Diego market a groundbreaking new treatment option for patients choosing “active surveillance” for their prostate cancer due to the high risk of side effects typically associated with prostate surgery. The Prostate Center of San Diego offers a new, highly precise, image-guided treatment, which allows patients to take a more proactive approach to their cancer diagnosis while also preserving quality of life.
Traditional methods of treating prostate cancer, including invasive surgery and radiation therapy, involve a very high risk of side effects, with impotence rates as high as 70 percent, as well as a high incidence of urinary incontinence. Faced with these sobering risks, many patients choose to forego treatment and instead take a “wait-and-see” approach, in which they and their physicians watch for signs of tumor progression before taking any treatment action.
The Prostate Center of San Diego brings together a multidisciplinary team of physicians, scientists and engineers to offer prostate cancer patients a third treatment option – a procedure known as irreversible electroporation (IRE) or NanoKnife, which was adapted for the treatment of prostate cancer by Dr. Michael Stehling of the Prostata Center in Offenbach, Germany.
The procedure uses MRI and ultrasound technologies to guide treatment to the precise tumor location, allowing cancer cells to be destroyed through “instant ablation” in a fraction of a second, while sparing vital tissue structures in the surrounding area. This results in far fewer side effects and a much faster recovery time. In most cases, patients are back on their feet the next day.
Dr. Stehling is an internationally recognized expert on image-guided tumor ablation treatments and has treated more prostate cancer patients with this image-guided procedure than anyone else in the world, with the best therapeutic results.
Dr. Stehling recently presented an analysis of clinical data from over 380 patients treated over a five-year period at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, the world’s largest radiology conference. He reported that the new image-guided procedure had a 100 percent success rate in treating the local cancer, which means that each tumor treated was effectively destroyed.
The results not only demonstrated effective local control of the cancer, but also either eliminated or greatly reduced the most common side effects of impotence and urinary incontinence. More information about the study can be found in the newsroom on the Prostate Center of San Diego’s website.
The IRE technology is fundamentally different from all surgery, radiation or heat-based procedures currently available for the treatment of prostate cancer. It is the first technology that allows treatment near sensitive structures like nerves and blood vessels without major damage to them. This makes it a more ideal technology than high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), for example, especially if the tumor is located adjacent to a sensitive area, which is frequently the case in prostate cancer.
“We believe that patients shouldn’t have to choose between actively fighting their cancer and giving up on their current quality of life,” said Dr. Stehling. “With IRE, we are able to offer them the best of both worlds: an effective, proactive treatment option that also lets them get on with their normal, daily lives as soon as possible.”
Under the strategic leadership of Dr. Stehling, The Prostate Center employs a multi-disciplinary team of experts from all over the world to provide patients with the best diagnostics and care, influenced by the latest developments in research. The local team of physicians includes Dr. Ross Schwartzberg, and Dr. James Cooper, radiologists with expertise in prostate imaging that have successfully performed thousands of diagnostic and therapeutic image-guided procedures.
In addition to its ground-breaking image-guided treatment option, another element that sets The Prostate Center apart is its commitment to state-of-the-art diagnostics. Most facilities utilize a testing procedure that is less than reliable and may result in false positives or missed diagnoses. The most commonly used test is the rectal punch biopsy, which has a detection sensitivity of only 30 to 35 percent.
By comparison, The Prostate Center offers multiple advanced diagnostic options, including MRI-guided and 3-D mapping biopsies, that provide detection rates between 85 and 100 percent. This allows patients to avoid the fear and anxiety that comes from a false positive test, as well as more invasive tests that may not actually be necessary. The Prostate Center’s exceptionally advanced diagnostic methods enable physicians to provide highly specific and accurate recommendations for therapy and treatment.
The Prostate Center of San Diego is located at 4120 La Jolla Village Drive in La Jolla, Calif. More information, including diagnostic and treatment options and physician bios, can be found at www.prostatecentersd.com or by calling (866) 833-8262.