FLA treatment leaves the structures surrounding the prostate unharmed, resulting in fewer lifestyle altering side effects as compared with other therapies.
Focal laser ablation uses photothermal energy (heat) from a laser to destroy the tumour without damaging surrounding structures.
This method has the advantage of real time monitoring during the procedure allowing doctors to ensure that the tumour has reached therapeutic temperature and the critical structures remain unharmed.
The early results are promising with minimal side effects, no adverse events, and no impact on sexual or urinary function.
The goal of FLA is to ablate (wear away) only the clinically significant tumour while leaving the rest of the gland intact. The tumour within the prostate is targeted using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and its cells are subjected to the heat from the laser, but the rest of the prostate and surrounding structures are untouched.
FLA offers a number of advantages over other therapies:
The image to the right is a post-procedure MRI of a patient who has just had FLA. It shows the area that was targeted with the laser, and the tumour that was targeted.
Below is the same MRI image with an illustrative overlay and labels. It shows the tumour targeted, the area of the prostate that was heated by the laser, and shows important structures such as the urethra that have not been subjected to the heat from the probe.