According to statistics, prostate cancer is diagnosed in 1 in 7 men during their lifetime and it mainly occurs in males over 50. This type of cancer is the second leading cause of death of cancer in the USA. Scientists in research laboratories all around the world are looking for new medications, schemes and methods of treatment that could successfully treat prostate cancer.
Chemotherapy may considerably influence the quality of patient’s life with chemotherapeutic agents affecting the healthy cells in his body. Target therapy, on the other hand, uses preparations that selectively destroy cancerous cells basing on the specifics of their growth and interaction with other tissues. There are several types of such medications; some of them have already passed clinical trials, whereas others are still being tested:
* Medications disturbing the growth of cancerous cells. These drugs suppress the growth factor receptors in the cells of the tumor preventing it from growing.
* Medications that suppress the spread of cancerous cells. They are called angiogenesis inhibitors as they target angiogenesis – the growth of new blood vessels through which cancer cells get nutrition.
* Medications that stimulate the immune system to fight tumor cells (vaccines). They teach the immune system to distinguish healthy cells from cancerous ones and destroy the latter.
Cryotherapy is a new alternative method of treatment of early stages of prostate cancer. The procedure involves placing special hollow probes in the area of the prostate tumor through which very cold gases are passed to the tumor to destroy malignant cells.
High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
It’s a relatively new method of cancer treatment. A transrectal ultrasound probe is placed in the rectum from where the ultrasound beams can be accurately directed at the prostate. When emitted from the probe, the high-energy beam of ultrasound heats up and destroys cancer cells.
By Jason Mitchell