Cryotherapy for Prostate Cancer

Robert Sterling Hollabaugh, Jr. M.D., FACS

Cryotherapy is the use of subzero temperature to destroy abnormal tissue. The dead tissue is then sloughed or reabsorbed by the body.

The latest generation of cryotherapy equipment allows for very precise mapping of the prostate gland anatomy (including the nerve bundles responsible for erection) and accurate monitoring of the ice temperatures both in and adjacent to the prostate gland. The accuracy and precision available today give excellent rates of cancer control, with a greatly improved side-effect profile.

In 1999, cryotherapy of the prostate gained Medicare approval for the treatment of prostate cancer. Advances continue to improve outcomes with cryotherapy, and ongoing clinical studies around the country continue to affirm the positive results of the treatment. While cryotherapy was originally utilized only in cases of failed radiation therapy, it is now considered as a primary option for newly diagnosed prostate cancer.