Medical Minute 10-27: Treating Prostate Cancer Without Side Effects

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

This year, college lacrosse coach Michael Martin faced an unexpected opponent -- prostate cancer.

"I guess probably my first instinct probably as with most cancer patients is, 'How can I get this out of me? How can we kill this," said Michael Martin.

Researchers are testing new treatments -- like dutasteride. it's approved to treat enlarged prostates, but doctors say it has other uses.

"What we've learned is that men who take dutasteride have a 25 to 40 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who don't," said Gerald Andriole, M.D. Urologist.

Another weapon in the arsenal against prostate cancer: Focal cryo-ablation. Doctors freeze cancer cells to negative 40 degrees. Three-D biopsies allow doctors to target the treatment directly to the tumor.

"That can allow us to just destroy that part of the prostate, and in doing that, destroy that man's cancer in a micro-invasive way."

Another advancement: Photodynamic therapy. Patients are injected with a medication that sticks to blood vessels. Doctors aim a laser at those vessels -- cutting off the tumor's blood supply.

"So, our belief is we will get a super-selective killing of just the cancer."

Seven weeks after focal cryo-ablation

"I feel good!"

This active 59-year-old is back in the game -- cancer-free.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Judy Martin, Associate Director of Media Relations Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MOmartinju@wustl.edu


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