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Dr. Chris Harle collaborates on an international clinical trial

Eur Urol. 2016 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Magnetic resonance imaging-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation of prostate tissue in patients with localized prostate cancer: A prospective phase 1 clinical trial.

Chin JL, Billia M, Relle J, Roethke MC, Popeneciu IV, Kuru TH, Hatiboglu G, Mueller-Wolf MB, Motsch J, Romagnoli C, Kassam Z, Harle CC, Hafron J, Nandalur KR, Chronik BA, Burtnyk M, Schlemmer HP, Pahernik S.


BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation (MRI-TULSA) is a novel minimally invasive technology for ablating prostate tissue, potentially offering good disease control of localized cancer and low morbidity.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical safety and feasibility of MRI-TULSA for whole-gland prostate ablation in a primary treatment setting of localized prostate cancer (PCa).

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A single-arm prospective phase 1 study was performed at three tertiary referral centers in Canada, Germany, and the United States. Thirty patients (median age: 69 yr; interquartile range [IQR]: 67-71 yr) with biopsy-proven low-risk (80%) and intermediate-risk (20%) PCa were treated and followed for 12 mo.

INTERVENTION: MRI-TULSA treatment was delivered with the therapeutic intent of conservative whole-gland ablation including 3-mm safety margins and 10% residual viable prostate expected around the capsule.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Primary end points were safety (adverse events) and feasibility (technical accuracy and precision of conformal thermal ablation). Exploratory outcomes included quality of life, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and biopsy at 12 mo.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Median treatment time was 36min (IQR: 26-44) and prostate volume was 44ml (IQR: 38-48). Spatial control of thermal ablation was ±1.3mm on MRI thermometry. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events included hematuria (43% grade [G] 1; 6.7% G2), urinary tract infections (33% G2), acute urinary retention (10% G1; 17% G2), and epididymitis (3.3% G3). There were no rectal injuries. Median pretreatment International Prostate Symptom Score 8 (IQR: 5-13) returned to 6 (IQR: 4-10) at 3 mo (mean change: -2; 95% confidence interval [CI], -4 to 1). Median pretreatment International Index of Erectile Function 13 (IQR: 6-28) recovered to 13 (IQR: 5-25) at 12 mo (mean change: -1; 95% CI, -5 to 3). Median PSA decreased 87% at 1 mo and was stable at 0.8 ng/ml (IQR: 0.6-1.1) to 12 mo. Positive biopsies showed 61% reduction in total cancer length, clinically significant disease in 9 of 29 patients (31%; 95% CI, 15-51), and any disease in 16 of 29 patients (55%; 95% CI, 36-74).

CONCLUSIONS: MRI-TULSA was feasible, safe, and technically precise for whole-gland prostate ablation in patients with localized PCa. Phase 1 data are sufficiently compelling to study MRI-TULSA further in a larger prospective trial with reduced safety margins.

PATIENT SUMMARY: We used magnetic resonance imaging-guided transurethral ultrasound to heat and ablate the prostate in men with prostate cancer. We showed that the treatment can be targeted within a narrow range (1mm) and has a well-tolerated side effect profile. A larger study is under way.


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