Prostate Preservation and Focal Therapy

Prostate cancer is a complex condition that affects millions of men, yet there is no surefire treatment to address all prostate cancer symptoms. Fortunately, various treatment options are available to help prostate cancer patients.

Traditionally, two prostate treatment approaches have been available for patients with early-stage cancer: active surveillance and treatment with curative intent, including: surgery and radiation therapy, (radiation can be delivered as external beam radiation or as brachytherapy). Because cancer imaging and mapping have traditionally not been reliable, patients who undergo therapy will undergo treatment of their entire gland. In other words, if a patient has just a small focus of prostate cancer, which is limited to only a segment of the prostate, the entire gland is removed or radiated. The shortcoming of this approach is that both surgery and radiation treatment are associated with certain side effects which can include:

  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
  • Loss of control of urination (leaking urine)
  • Change in ejaculation
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to adjacent organs including the rectum and bladder.
  • Prostate preservation and focal therapy have been shown to help prostate cancer patients too. At Comprehensive Urology  of LA, our team of expert urologists can offer insights into a wide range of prostate preservation and focal therapy options. By doing so, we help patients determine if these prostate cancer treatments can deliver the optimal results.

What Is Focal Therapy for Prostate Cancer?

Focal therapy helps men simultaneously treat prostate cancer and preserve their erectile function and urinary control. Additionally, the therapy has been shown to help men improve their quality of life and deliver long-lasting results.

Thanks to MRI prostate imaging and mapping techniques, focal therapy now enables doctors to identify the exact location and extent of prostate cancer. After a doctor finds prostate cancer, he or she can deliver a precise treatment to address this problem. The cancer then is destroyed; at the same time, normal tissue and other structures near the prostate are preserved.

Ultimately, focal therapy offers a viable treatment option for prostate cancer patients who are committed to preserving their quality of life, as well as their erectile function and urinary control. The Prostate Cancer Institute team is happy to discuss focal therapy with prostate cancer patients. That way, a patient can determine whether focal therapy can deliver the ideal prostate cancer treatment results.

Are You a Candidate for Focal Therapy for Prostate Cancer?

Originally, focal therapy was used as an alternative to active surveillance in prostate cancer patients. Focal therapy today is used to assist early-stage prostate cancer patients, as well as intermediate- and high-risk patients.

Focal therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment for prostate cancer, and the Comprehensive Urology team will perform a series of prostate cancer tests to help a patient identify prostate cancer. Next, our team will collaborate with a patient to evaluate his risk factors and determine whether this individual is a viable candidate for focal therapy.

Types of Focal Therapies

Today, that middle ground option is finally available. This option of prostate preservation is called focal therapy. For patients with early-stage disease whose cancer is limited to only a segment of the prostate, treatment options can be delivered only to the diseased areas, thereby preserving the otherwise healthy and normal tissue. With focal therapy, we are therefore able to optimize patients’ normal body functions, such as preserving their erectile function as well as their urinary control, while promptly treating their cancer and maximizing their long-term outcomes and quality of life.

Focal prostate cancer therapy is now possible mainly due to the recent developments and optimization of cancer imaging modalities, biopsy techniques, prostate cancer mapping, and being able to provide targeted treatment options for patients with cancer using advanced treatment options such as HIFU. Undergoing screening and being diagnosed in the early stages of prostate cancer are key to being a candidate for focal therapy.

Given the advances in MRI prostate imaging and mapping techniques, the exact location and extent of prostate cancers can be determined. By knowing where the cancer is located, targeted therapy using modalities such as HIFU or TrueBeam radiation therapy can be delivered with precision. The cancer is thereby destroyed while the normal tissue and important structures (such as the nerves for erections or the muscles that assist with urinary control) can be preserved. Therefore, patients who undergo focal prostate cancer treatments can effectively treat their prostate cancer while optimizing their quality of life as focal therapy offers excellent preservation of erectile function and urinary control.


The Comprehensive Urology of LA provide state-of-the-art prostate preservation care for our patients. We have brought together a team of experts including urological surgeons with expertise in robotic surgery, MRI fusion biopsies, and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), as well as radiation oncologists with expertise in the most advanced radiation therapy modalities, radiologists who lead the field of imaging, pathologists with expertise in prostate cancer, and oncologists to provide our patients with the best treatments available today. In addition, our center provides minimally invasive and non-invasive treatment options for patients.

By having a team of leading physicians, we have been able to create programs to help patients with all stages of cancer be treated with the most effective modalities. While we are able to provide the most advanced robotic surgery, radiation therapy, and brachytherapy options for patients who need to undergo whole gland therapies, we are particularly excited to be able to provide focal therapies for appropriate candidates using high-intensity focused ultrasound.

The fact that many men can now treat their cancer while preserving their healthy prostatic tissue, and as a result being able to preserve their normal body function and quality of life, has created a huge groundswell of interest in HIFU focal therapy across the country. We are excited to be able to offer a new paradigm of treatment for patients with cancer and will be happy to work with you to identify which modality will be the most effective preservation approach for you.


During a traditional TrueBeam treatment, the entire gland is treated. However, TrueBeam intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) specifically targets only the cancer within the gland, providing patients with much more focused and precise treatment.

Instead of radiating the entire prostate, which often results in an over-treatment of the gland, TrueBeam circumvents these side effects through concentrated care. The Comprehensive Urology of LA developed TrueBeam focal therapy options for patients with focally localized prostate cancer, which is now possible because of the advances in medical technology. Lesions identified by the perfusion dynamic MRI study are correlated during the MRI fusion prostate biopsy and prostate mapping. Through the use of the TrueBeam IMRT machine, urologists can locate, with great precision, the location of the cancer in a patient and therefore only treat the area of concern without over-treating the entire prostate gland.


Brachytherapy is a treatment option for patients that, unlike other forms of treatment, delivers radiation from within a patient, as opposed to from the outside. In years past, brachytherapy would be conducted by having have seeds placed throughout the entire prostate, which could results in over-treatment of the whole gland. However, at Comprehensive Urology of LA, our urologists are able to provide patients with focal brachytherapy, which directly treats cancerous tissue and not healthy tissue.

Given the progress seen in modern medical technology and ground-breaking treatment approaches, patients with focal prostate cancers are now able to receive this focused treatment. Information gathered during a perfusion dynamic MRI study is combined with the information from an MRI fusion biopsy and prostate mapping (along with real-time ultrasound imaging at the time of treatment), which allows for placement of the brachytherapy seeds to only the cancerous areas. By preserving normal prostate healthy tissue, patients can experience the benefits of effective prostate cancer treatment without its previously common side effects.

Contact The Comprehensive Urology Today to Schedule a Consultation with Our Prostate Cancer Experts

The Comprehensive Urology of LA teaches prostate cancer patients about prostate preservation, focal therapies, and much more. To learn about our prostate cancer treatment options, please contact us today at (310) 341-2557.

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The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.