Prostate Cancer Treatment
The HALO Dx Approach
At HALO Dx we use Laser Focal Therapy (laser ablation) for the treatment of prostate cancer. This procedure involves placing the patient inside the MRI scanner and displaying MRI images and thermal maps on a computer screen. A thin laser fiber is guided to the tumor and laser energy is applied to kill the cancer cells. The temperature and the extent of the ablation zone are constantly monitored with MRI imaging, allowing HALO Dx to identify if all visible tumors have been destroyed and monitor that no important structures are damaged.
Laser Focal Therapy has many advantages:
- Minimally invasive, ambulatory outpatient procedure (usually lasts 4 hours and patient can go home after)
- Rapid recovery: most patients can return to work the next day*
- No general anesthesia required
- Vast majority of men have improved urination after the procedure*
- Lower risk of side effects such as urinary incontinence, impotence and decreased bowel function compared to surgery or radiation therapy
- Better accuracy compared with other focal approaches, e.g. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
- Unlike other treatments, focal laser therapy does not limit the option to treat with radiation therapy or surgery if needed later
Traditional approaches like radical prostatectomy (RP) have severe side effects:
- 50% risk of erectile dysfunction (impotence)
- 25% risk or urinary incontinence
- Dry orgasm
- 20-40% cancer recurrence within 10 years, 30-50% cancer recurrence during patient’s lifetime
Laser Focal Therapy
Laser Focal Therapy - Invented by HALO!
In 2010, the team of Bernadette Greenwood, Chief Research Officer at Halo Diagnostics, and Roger McNichols, PhD, developed the system to perform Laser Focal Therapy. The first case in the world was performed by the HALO Diagnostics team of Dr. John Feller, Ms. Greenwood, and Dr. McNichols in 2010.
HALO Diagnostics released interim 10-year results from its Phase II 20-year clinical trial for prostate laser focal therapy in patients with localized prostate cancer. Over 170 men, 45-years or older diagnosed with low-to-intermediate risk or recurrent prostate cancer, volunteered to participate in the study. The results are impressive: less than 1% infection, less than 1% erectile dysfunction and less than 1% incontinence – compared to conventional whole gland prostatectomy which has a risk of up to 50% erectile dysfunction and 25% urinary incontinence. These results, along with a 100% prostate cancer-specific survival rate, are an encouraging development for men looking for a prostate cancer therapy option with a lower risk of side effects.
*Results may vary
Comparison to Traditional Treatment Methods
*This content is solely for informational purposes and does not substitute for medical advice. Speak with your doctor or contact us if you have personal or medical questions.
Laser focal therapy can be advantageous to other forms of treatment for prostate cancer, as it can result in a higher quality of life for the patient. This is largely due to the ability to only target cancerous cells, leaving healthy cells intact. Laser focal therapy has the most precise temporal and spatial tools, increasing the level of detail and reducing the chance of error. The laser is able to operate at levels down to 0.5 millimeters, which allows the laser to have more precise focus on the targeted area of the prostate and not disrupt the surrounding healthy tissue. In addition, an MR thermometer and safety controls are used during the therapy for a smooth operation with real-time feedback. Other energy sources used in different forms of prostate operations are not compatible with MRIs, making those operations less safe due to a lack of real-time feedback.
In comparison to another popular focal treatment methods like high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), laser focal therapy is not limited to only small glands and has demonstrated much higher levels of accuracy with lower risk of side effects such as, erectile dysfunction.
High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) uses ultrasound instead of laser to heat the tissue. To obtain the ablation diameter (area of cancerous tissue being killed) of the laser used in our approach, HIFU would require >20 overlapping ablations. What if the patient moves a little and the device misses a spot? When treating cancer, it’s important to get all of it. The vast majority of HIFU centers use ultrasound guidance (instead of MRI), losing the precision of MRI and the important real-time information that MRI thermometry (temperature measurement) provides in protecting vital structures. Studies show significant urinary and sexual problems after HIFU because important tissues and nerves can be damaged during the procedure.
Laser focal therapy boasts many benefits for patients compared to other treatment methods for prostate cancer. No general anesthesia is required for the therapy, and patients are able to return to work as early as the day after the operation. Additionally, laser focal therapy carries lower risk of side effects compared to other treatment methods such as, impotence, and urinary incontinence. Laser focal therapy also does not rule out the exploration of further treatment options such as surgery or radiation therapy if needed later.
When deciding which type of prostate cancer treatment to choose, it is important to consider how each treatment differs and how this may impact the treatment results.