MR-guided biopsy and focal therapy: new options for prostate cancer management

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Purpose of review

Options for prostate cancer management are rapidly expanding. The recent advent of MRI technology has led to guided prostate biopsies by radiologists working in-bore or by urologists using MR/US fusion technology. The resulting tumor visualization now provides the option of focal therapy. Currently available are highly directed energies – focused ultrasound (HIFU), cryotherapy, and laser – all offering the hope of curing prostate cancer with few side effects.

Recent findings

MRI now enables visualization of many prostate cancers. MR/US fusion biopsy makes possible the targeted biopsy of suspicious lesions efficiently in the urology clinic. Several fusion devices are now commercially available. Focal therapy, a derivative of targeted biopsy, is reshaping the approach to treatment of some prostate cancers. Focal laser ablation, originally done in the MRI gantry (in-bore), promises to soon become feasible in a clinic setting (out-of-bore) under local anesthesia. Other focal therapy options, including HIFU and cryotherapy, are currently available. Herein are summarized outcomes data on focal therapy modalities.


MRI-guided biopsy is optimizing prostate cancer diagnosis. Focal therapy, an outgrowth of guided biopsy, promises to become a well tolerated and effective approach to treating many men with prostate cancer while minimizing the risks of incontinence and impotence from radical treatment.

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