Beaumont seeking volunteers for prostate cancer treatment study


Researchers to study safety of MRI-guided ultrasound to ablate cancer tissue

Researchers at Beaumont Health System are seeking volunteers for a prostate cancer treatment study. Participants must have early-stage prostate cancer. The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a MRI-guided ultrasound therapy system to destroy cancerous prostate tissue.

“Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer among men in economically developed countries and is now recognized as one of the principal medical problems facing the male population,” explains James Relle, M.D., urologist, Beaumont’s co-principal investigator. “Radical treatments - surgery and radiation therapy provide good local control of the disease, but can leave men with significant long-term complications affecting urinary, bowel and sexual function. These issues can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 240,000 American men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed nationally among men. The prostate is part of a man’s reproductive system.

“A better understanding of the natural history of prostate cancer has led us to focus on less invasive or less radical treatments,” says Jason Hafron M.D., urologist, Beaumont’s co-principal investigator.  “As a result, men are seeking new ways to treat it, allowing them to avoid surgery or radiation and their potential complications.”

The investigational treatment is considered minimally invasive and uses a MRI-guided ultrasound therapy system in an outpatient setting. Participants with localized prostate cancer will undergo MRI-guided transurethral (through the urethra) ultrasound therapy with the aim to treat the whole prostate gland. Study patients will be followed for a minimum of 12 months to check on their progress and any side effects, monitor their quality of life and signs of prostate cancer.

“MRI-guided transurethral ultrasound therapy is promising technology," adds Dr. Hafron. “Ultrasound energy, delivered by a device inserted in the urethra, is used to heat and destroy prostate cancer tissue avoiding any critical surrounding structures.”

To be eligible for the study, participants must meet criteria, including:

  • Be a male, 65 years of age or older
  • Have low-risk, early-stage, organ-confined prostate cancer
  • Be eligible for magnetic resonance imaging
  • Able to tolerate general anesthesia
  • Have biopsy confirmed cancer of the prostate
  • Not have a bleeding disorder
  • Not have a latex allergy
  • Not have a history of any major rectal or pelvic surgery
  • Not currently treated with antidepressant drugs

For more information, including eligibility, call Maureen Cooney at 248-551-9477.

The Beaumont Cancer Institute is one of only 49 Community Clinical Oncology Programs in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute to provide patients with access to leading-edge cancer clinical research trials.

The Beaumont Research Institute has 1,100 active laboratory and clinical studies involving 82,000 patients that are funded by government, foundation and commercial grants. The Research Institute has an annual operating budget of $33.8 million. Find out more at