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Panel Reviews Cryosurgery for Localized Prostate Cancer

Cryosurgery may be reasonable option for certain men with cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Cryosurgery is an appropriate primary treatment for certain men with organ-confined prostate cancer, and salvage cryosurgery can be a suitable option for men who have failed radiation therapy, according to a best practice statement published online Sept. 25 in the Journal of Urology.

Richard J. Babaian, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues on an American Urological Association panel, write that primary cryosurgery is an option for low-, intermediate- and high-risk patients, but the disease should be confined to the prostate, and smaller prostates will better achieve a uniformly cold temperature. However, erectile dysfunction incidence at one year has been reported to range from 49 to 93 percent.

The best candidates for salvage cryosurgery in men with failed radiation therapy are those with cancer confined to the organ, a prostate-specific antigen level less than 10 ng/mL and no metastases, the report indicates. A biopsy should be performed when this option is being considered, and only men with a positive result should undergo the procedure, the researchers write.

"The operative time averages two hours, and the majority of the cases can be performed as outpatient procedures with either a Foley or suprapubic catheter placed for five to 14 days," the authors write. "In summary, a review of the historical evolution of cryosurgery provides two overriding messages, the first being that there is evidence of therapeutic benefit, and the second, that treatment-associated morbidity has been reduced as technological refinements have emerged."

Babaian and several co-authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and other medical companies.

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