Real-Time MRI–Guided Focal Laser Therapy in Patients with Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Two patients with low-risk prostate cancer (PCa) were treated with outpatient in-bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–guided focal laser ablation.
By: andres schulz
March 18, 2010 - PRLog -- (study excerpt)
Full study available at

The tumor was identified on MRI. A laser fiber was delivered via a catheter inserted through a perineal template and guided to the target with MRI. The tissue temperature was monitored during laser ablation by MRI thermometry. Accumulated thermal damage was calculated in real time. Immediate post-treatment contrast-enhanced MRI confirmed devascularization of the target. No adverse events were noted. MRI-guided focal laser therapy of low-risk PCa is feasible and may offer a good balance between cancer control and side effects.

The MRI thermometry software (Visualase, allowed us to monitor temperature at specific points in the tissue. The temperature at those points was used as a feedback to control the laser. During the laser heating, the temperatures at the border of the rectal wall and urethra were monitored and maintained at safe levels by shutting down the laser automatically when the temperature at these critical points exceeded 45 °C. Thermal damage was calculated using an Arrhenius formula. Temperature and damage maps were superimposed onto anatomic images (Fig. 5b). Once the desired volume of tissue destruction was achieved, laser power was stopped.

The patients were discharged home within 3 h. MR scans performed 2 wk post-treatment showed no evidence of complications with preservation of rectum and neurovascular bundles. No adverse effects were noted at ≤1 mo after treatment. Six-month follow-up biopsies are pending.

Outpatient MRI-guided FLT as used in the present study allows for visualization of the tumor; real-time guidance of the thermal device to the target; monitoring and control of the zone of ablation and surrounding tissue during treatment; and the ability to immediately confirm the success of the treatment and, if necessary, immediately repeat therapy. The required skills are common to other minimally invasive procedures, resulting in a short learning curve for the surgeon. Refinement of this outpatient procedure may result in an inexpensive, minimally invasive alternative to current active therapies. Further trials will be necessary to define the safety and oncologic efficacy of this therapy, but our early results are promising.

Orit Raz, Masoom A. Haider, Sean R.H. Davidson, Uri Lindner, Eugen Hlasny, Robert Weersink, Mark R. Gertner, Walter Kucharcyzk, Stuart A. McCluskey, John Trachtenberg.
Accepted 3 March 2010, Published online 12 March 2010

The authors would like to thank Drs. Ashok Gowda and Roger McNichols of Visualase Inc., Houston, Texas, USA, for generously supplying the laser and magnetic resonance thermometry system and for their technical support of this study.

Full study available at

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Visualase, Inc. is focused product development and manufacturing of advanced laser and image-guided technologies for thermal ablation markets.
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Tags:Mri–guided Focal Laser Ablation, Focal Ablation, Focal Therapy, Laser Ablation, Laser Therapy, Magnetic Resonance
Location:Houston - Texas - United States
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