Irreversible focal electroporation therapy destroys prostate cancer in 85% of patients

The scientific journal The Journal of Urology has published the results of the prospective series of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, the first of Spanish hospitals. This minimally invasive technique has been developed to avoid excessive treatments while preserving urinary continence and sexual potency of patients.

Dr. Bernardino Miñana, director del Departamento de Urología de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra y autor principal de la publicación.

February 14, 2023

Eighty-five percent of patients with prostate cancer treated with irreversible electroporation at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra have controlled the treated tumor and, of these, 100% retain the capacity for urinary continence and 91.8% retain their pre-intervention sexual potency. Irreversible electroporation is a non-thermal tissue ablation technique that allows cell destruction by means of a series of short, high-voltage electrical pulses. 

These are some of the conclusions of the article published in the scientific journal The Journal of Urology on the first prospective series of patients in a Spanish hospital with focal therapy results endorsed by an impact journal. Its data confirm the efficacy and safety of this technology in dealing with the most frequent tumor among men, according to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM).  

The article analyzes the pathology of men treated between 2014 and 2021, the sum of which makes up "the prospective cohort published with the longest follow-up to date with this technology," as Dr. Bernardino Miñana, coordinator of the Prostate Cancer Area of the Cancer Center Clínica Universidad de Navarra and lead author of the study, emphasizes.

Focal prostate therapy is indicated in patients with low-risk or intermediate-risk tumors, with a visible lesion on MRI and who do not wish to undergo radical treatments. As Dr. Miñana points out, its application "requires a rigorous selection of patients who could benefit from this treatment. This is why it is mandatory to characterize the cancer by means of MRI and transperineal biopsies using fusion systems".  

The article also concludes that "there is a proportion of patients who present a risk of developing new tumors in the untreated areas, which requires prolonged follow-up" for early detection.  

According to Dr. Miñana, "this experience, together with the other treatments that we carry out at the Prostate Center of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, consolidates us at the forefront of minimally invasive treatment of prostate cancer at a national and European level". The Prostate Center of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra -integrated in the Cancer Center Clínica Universidad de Navarra- has been the first in Spain to offer the entire diagnostic and therapeutic arsenal for the management of benign and malignant prostate pathology. 

Prostate cancer in Spain

Cancer continues to be one of the main causes of morbimortality -the rate of death from disease in a given population and at a given time- in the world. According to SEOM, "worldwide estimates indicate that the number of new cases will increase to 30.2 million by 2040".  

In Spain, cancer is also one of the main causes of death. Among men, prostate cancer is the most prevalent. The latest SEOM data highlight that 260,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2020, well above the other most common cancers among the male population: urinary bladder cancer (150,000) and colon cancer (126,000).