Advanced Treatments for Prostate Cancer

Latest treatments for prostate cancer

MHL is always seeking the best new diagnostics and treatments for prostate cancer, as well as outstanding treatment centres for international patients.
Some of the treatments and technologies may not yet be well known in your country so we are pleased to provide an introduction here.
The following list is not exhaustive, but it includes most of the main methodologies in use today. 
Proton therapy
'Robotic' surgery
Medical oncology
Latest prostate cancer treatments at university and specialist hospitals
Prostate cancer

Proton therapy for prostate cancer

Proton therapy can be applied wherever conventional radiotherapy can be used, but because the radiation is more closely focussed on the tumour(s) it greatly reduces the impact of radiation on sound tissue.
It can also reduce distressing side effects which are often associated with radiotherapy for certain types of cancer.
This is one of the most common applications of proton therapy, reducing the risk of incontinence and loss of virility sometimes associated with radiotherapy.
For more details see Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

CyberKnife for prostate cancer

CyberKnife can reproduce the conformality for organ coverage achievable with brachytherapy and local control and complication rates are expected to be similar to HDR (high dose rate) brachytherapy.
Radiosurgery uses radiation beams of much higher power and greater precision than radiotherapy.
The leading system of radiosurgery is CyberKnife. CyberKnife is not suitable for all tumours but it can treat complex tumours in sensitive locations, where surgeons cannot operate.
Cyberknife treatment plan for prostate cancer
For CyberKnife radiosurgery visit the CyberKnife page.
Treatments can be reduced to as little as a single session of 45-90 minutes for some conditions.  Others may need to spread over a few days but rarely more than 3-5 days.
CyberKnife may also offer a non-invasive  alternative to open surgery or fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy.
CyberKnife centres may vary but a general indication is up to stage 2a tumours, PSA under 10 ng/dl and a negative Cholin PET CT for body metastases.
For prostate cancer visit the CyberKnife soft tissue tumours page.
Prostate cancer

'Robotic' Surgery

Surgical removal of the prostate, known as radical retropubic prostatectomy, can be performed manually or as minimally invasive surgery.
A number of hospitals around the world now use the da VinciĀ® 'robotic' surgery system for assistance in precisely controlled, minimally invasive surgery, including for prostate cancer.
'Telemanipulation' is more accurate, as the system transfers a surgeon's hand movements to the instruments that are inserted through small incisions in the abdomen.
The skill of the individual surgeon is still paramount therefore. He controls the movements via a three-dimensional view with up to 10x magnification.


Radiotherapy can be used where tumours have grown too far for surgery or as an alternative to surgery in the primary treatment of prostate cancer, as well as for localised advanced tumour stages following prostatectomy and for recurrences
There have been many advances on conventional radiotherapy in recent years, particularly in the introduction of image guided treatments and there are many competing proprietary technologies.


In brachytherapy, the radiation source is placed in direct contact with the the malignant tissue of the target tumour.
The fall-off of in radiation to surrounding tissue is therefore much higher than with external radiotherapy.
Brachytherapy therefore allows a higher radiation dose to be administered in the shortest possible time. Duration of treatment is therefore typically one week rather than six weeks. A further advantage is significantly lower radiation exposure compared to traditional radiotherapy.
Even with advanced tumours or the recurrence of a tumour following radiotherapy, brachytherapy offers patients considerable advantages. It may be used alone or in conjunction with traditional radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
Prostate cancer

Medical Oncology

Depending upon the age and condition of the patient, not all cancers need to be treated immediately.
Treatment may be avoided or delayed by the use of hormomal therapy. Testosterone has a marked effect on the development of prostate cancer, so this may be reduced by medication. 
Drug based therapies may also be used to attack the tumour(s), either as a stand-alone treatment or as a prelude to radiotherapy or radiosurgery.

Hormonal treatment

Drugs known as LHRH analogues are injected monthly or quarterly under the skin, which lead to a complicated mechanism that halts production of testosterone in the testes.
Although this is unlikely to cure the cancer, it can slow or halt the growth of the tumour.
Often another 'anti-androgen' drug is added, which blocks the testosterone uptake into the prostate itself.
Hormone deprivation therapy, which can also be done surgically by removal of the hormone-producing testicular tissue, is the best treatment for a prostate cancer that has metastasised.
Hormone withdrawal treatment is also used concomitantly with radiation treatments, over approx one year, as it can improve the healing rates of radiation treatment.
Similarly in case of a localised tumour, androgen deprivation may be used, pending decision on the best form of treatment or as a pretreatment before surgery.


If the tumour continues to grow, despite exhausting all possibilities of surgery and hormone deprivation, chemotherapy may be employed.
Specialist treatments    <    Cancer    <    Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer treatment enquiries

Advanced treatments for prostate cancer now include proton therapy, CyberKnife radiosurgery, robotic surgery and brachytherapy.
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Ion beam therapy for prostate cancer

Ion beam therapy is an extension from proton beam therapy and collectively proton and ion beam therapies are known as particle beam therapy.
This requires greater energy and only a very few proton therapy centres are capable of delivering ion beam therapy as well, but the therapeutic effects can be much greater.
Ion beams deliver more intense radiation to the selected target even than proton therapy, whilst still sparing surrounding organs.
They are therefore especially suitable for stubborn tumours which resist radiotherapy or where the radiation to adjacent tissue and resulting side effects would be unacceptable.
We work with a new centre in Europe, one of only a few active ion beam centres in the world and headed by a highly experienced particle therapy specialist.
The same principles apply, but instead of single protons (Hydrogen ions), heavier ions are fired in a beam.
Ion beam therapy
Ion beam therapy with integrated CT scanning
Options include minimally invasive surgery, CyberKnife radiosurgery, particle beam therapy (proton beam or the latest ion beam) and a range of treatments at leading university and specialist cancer hospitals.
CyberKnife radiosurgery at university hospital affiliated centres in Germany
Particle beam therapy (proton or ion beam) and CyberKnife radiosurgery offer much greater precision however and  they cause fewer side effects compared to radiotherapy, especially where the tumour is comparatively small and localised.
As the tumour grows larger and more diffuse, the benefits of these systems reduces and in the most advanced tumours patients may be advised that radiotherapy close to home would be the most appropriate treatment for their case.
da Vinci robotic surgery
minimally invasive prostate surgery
The da Vinci 'robotic' surgery system displays internal images at up to ten times magnification and relays the surgeon's  hand movements.
Advanced treatments for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
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