ROYAL OAK, Mich. -

Doctors at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak say they're the first in the United States to treat prostate cancer with an experimental ultrasound therapy.

The treatment is called transurethral ultrasound therapy guided by MRI. The outpatient procedure is a single treatment that uses MRI guidance to help doctors to precisely deliver heat therapy to the prostate gland with an ultrasound device inserted in the urethra.

The first treatment at Beaumont was performed on Jan. 25th. The goal is to kill cancer cells while sparing nearby nerves and organs, such as the bladder, rectum and colon, potentially reducing the side effects of treating prostate cancer.

"Traditional prostate cancer treatments - surgery and radiation therapy - provide good local control of the disease, but can leave men with significant long-term complications affecting urinary, bowel and sexual function," says James Relle, M.D., urologist and co-principal investigator of the Beaumont study. "These issues can significantly reduce a patient's quality of life."

To be eligible for the study, patients must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Be a male, 65 years of age or older
  • Have low-risk, early-stage, organ-confined prostate cancer
  • Be eligible for magnetic resonance imaging
  • Able to tolerate general anesthesia
  • Have biopsy confirmed cancer of the prostate
  • Not have a bleeding disorder
  • Not have a latex allergy
  • Not have a history of any major rectal or pelvic surgery
  • Not currently treated with antidepressant drugs

Research participants will be followed for a minimum of 12 months.

For more information about the Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation study at Beaumont, call Maureen Cooney at 248-551-9477.