Robotic surgery — the pioneering da Vinci Surgical System in particular — was initially developed to target prostate cancer. And although robotic systems are now used to treat a wide range of cancers, they remain an especially effective, minimally invasive way to deal with the specific challenges of prostate surgery.
Today this revolutionary technology is used to perform around 80% of prostectomies, according to the National Cancer Institute. By precisely imaging and targeting tumors, it minimizes damage to surrounding tissue, and greatly reduces recovery time.
But in recent years robotic surgery has been joined by many new innovative options for prostate cancer. A host of cutting-edge treatments are available at leading Southern California medical centers.
UCLA was the first medical center in the country to use Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy, a noninvasive way to reduce and eradicate prostate tumors using targeted 3-D image-guided focal radiation. The benefits include a very short outpatient treatment course, only five 15-minute sessions, and few side effects.
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian also offers Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy along with wide-ranging treatment options tailored to each patient's personal needs.
"Hoag offers many different robotic surgical procedures," said Dr. Jeffrey Yoshida, program director of urologic oncology at Hoag. "We [also] offer an individualized and comprehensive approach to treatment involving the latest radiation therapies."
Yoshida points to the innovative CyberKnife, a noninvasive radiation system that targets tumors with pinpoint accuracy. Loma Linda University Medical Center offers da Vinci Si systems as well as advanced proton radiation therapy, a noninvasive process that powerfully and precisely targets tumors. Unlike traditional radiation, proton therapy usually has few to no side effects. Loma Linda also offers a range of progressive procedures such as cryotherapy, which freezes the prostate to kill cancer cells.
An early and precise diagnosis is vital to a good outcome — and UCLA has taken a major step in refining the process, using a system that more accurately detects tumor spots with a combination of magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound.