Prostate cancer patients to trial ground-breaking shockwave therapy

Thursday 12 August 2021

Mr Tet Yap

Prostate cancer patients at the Cancer Centre at Guy’s are to be treated with shockwave therapy as part of a world-first clinical trial.

It is hoped that the new shockwave therapy trial will cure or improve their erectile function, which may have been damaged from their previous prostate cancer surgery.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common side effect that patients suffer from after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Around 70% to 80% of prostate cancer patients have ED and will need lifelong medication to restore function. However, many of those patients don’t respond to treatment.

Shockwave therapy consists of delivering an acoustic wave which carries high energy to painful spots and musculoskeletal tissues. Previous studies have shown that shockwave therapy can help the regeneration of blood vessels and nerves.

Low energy shockwaves are directed to a targeted area using a specialist probe for around 10 to 15 minutes. Each patient will receive treatment through a randomised trial for 10 sessions, once a week.

Mr Tet Yap, consultant andrological surgeon and trial lead, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this potentially life-changing treatment to patients with prostate cancer. Most patients who are in remission will lose their sexual function through nerve damage following surgery.

“This new painless therapy has the potential to restore their erectile function by regenerating new blood vessels and nerves, hopefully helping patients to return to leading a normal healthy life.”

Shockwave therapy has already been proven to work in treating other medical conditions, such as joint disorders and kidney stones.

The trial is currently open to recruitment. For patients who would like to take part in the trial, please speak to your GP, urologist or oncologist.

Last updated: March 2022

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