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Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. Nearly 165,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Findings from a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America indicate that a new ultrasound technique may be a promising treatment for this disease.

Current prostate cancer treatments often involve surgery to remove malignant tissue. Many men who undergo surgery develop urinary incontinence, and as many as 85 percent experience erectile dysfunction. The new treatment technique, called transurethral ultrasound ablation, or TULSA, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses MRI-guided ultrasound to heat and destroy tumors while sparing normal tissue.

The multi-center study involved 115 men between the ages of 59 and 69 years old who had been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Each of the men received TULSA treatment (average time, 51 minutes) and then were reassessed 12 months later.

At the 12-month follow-up, 80 percent of the men displayed no evidence of clinically significant cancer; 65 percent of the men had no evidence of cancer in biopsied tissue; and 96 percent of the men had significantly reduced prostate-specific antigen levels, a biomarker for prostate cancer. Only 1 percent of the men were incontinent after the treatment, and 25 percent experienced erectile dysfunction.

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