Advertisement

What are disadvantages of targeted therapy in treating prostate cancer?

Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
A limited number of studies of focal therapy (targeted therapy) have been completed, and those that have been done included only a few dozen patients, used varying techniques, and lacked solid data on adverse effects. Proponents of focal therapies also assume that tiny secondary tumors won't become a problem later on, but that's not certain; in some cases, such tumors have metastasized. Then there's the possibility that cells from the primary tumor may have already spread; these micrometastases can escape detection with current technology. (Estimated accuracy rates for magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] in focal therapy range from 40% to 90%.) Incomplete treatment or a missed spot of cancer could have profound consequences. And although one would think that the extent and number of complications would be less with focal therapies than with whole-gland treatment, that isn't known for certain.

Continue Learning about Prostate Cancer Treatment

Double-Punch Treatment Best for Prostate Cancer
Double-Punch Treatment Best for Prostate Cancer
Love him or hate him, the fact is that heavyweight champ Mike Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts with knockouts—12 of them in the first round—b...
Read More
How effective is radiation versus surgery for prostate cancer?
Marc B. Garnick, MDMarc B. Garnick, MD
In comparisons of radiation to surgery for prostate cancer, brachytherapy (radiation from a source p...
More Answers
What does the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test help detect?
Arthur W. Perry, MDArthur W. Perry, MD
Today we have a much better understanding of the strengths and limitations of the prostate-specific ...
More Answers
How Are Doctors Improving Prostate Cancer Treatments?
How Are Doctors Improving Prostate Cancer Treatments?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.