Prostate Center Paris

Prostate cancer treatment and biopsy

Focal treatment of prostate cancer with cryotherapy: Principles and limitations

The focal cryotherapy for prostate cancer specifically targets the affected areas of the prostate cancer, offering a precise approach. However, there are advantages and limitations to consider.

Focal Cryotherapy Therapy for Prostate Cancer: A Targeted Approach

Focal cryotherapy is becoming an innovative approach to treating prostate cancer by specifically targeting the affected areas. This therapeutic approach is based on specific principles designed to maximize efficacy while minimizing side effects. 

  • Precise targeting At the heart of focal cryotherapy lies its ability to specifically target tumor areas, using highly precise probes to treat affected prostate tissue directly, while minimizing the risk of harming nearby healthy tissue.
  •  Ice crystal formation During the procedure, a controlled cooling process is initiated by cryogenic probes. This cooling induces the formation of ice crystals inside cancer cells, triggering their destruction. This specific mechanism helps to selectively eliminate malignant cells while preserving normal structures.
  • Recovery benefits Focal cryotherapy often offers faster recovery than other, more invasive treatment modalities. The precision of the method limits collateral damage, reducing adverse effects and facilitating post-procedure recovery.

Prostate cancer: Surgery or focal treatment

The comparison between surgical treatment of prostate cancer and focal therapies is a complex debate within oncology management. On the one hand, surgery, such as prostatectomy, offers a comprehensive approach by removing the entire affected prostate. This can be effective, but can also lead to significant side effects, such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, focal treatments specifically target cancerous areas, preserving as much of the surrounding healthy tissue as possible.

These methods, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) or cryotherapy, are designed to treat the tumor precisely while minimizing complications. It is important to consider the severity of the cancer, patient preferences and the risks associated with each option when choosing between surgery and targeted treatments. A thorough assessment of these factors is necessary to make an informed decision.

Advantages and limitations of Focal Cryotherapy

Focal Cryotherapy offers a number of advantages, but there are also certain limitations to consider. 

Advantages : 

  •  Targeted approach Focal cryotherapy offers enhanced precision by specifically targeting prostate areas affected by cancer. This focus minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue. 
  •  Reducing side effects Compared with other more invasive methods, focal cryotherapy is associated with a significant reduction in undesirable side effects. Patients can benefit from faster recovery and fewer complications. 
  •  Ambulatory procedure : Often performed on an outpatient basis, the focal cryotherapy procedure offers patients greater convenience and comfort, avoiding prolonged hospitalization. Preservation of 
  •  Urinary and erectile functions : Thanks to its precise focus, cryotherapy limits collateral damage, preserving urinary and erectile function in many patients.


  •  Lack of long-term perspective Although short-term results are promising, the lack of long-term experience is a limitation, as more studies are needed to determine the durability of the effects of focal cryotherapy on prostate cancer. 
  •  Possible risks : As with any medical procedure, focal cryotherapy can lead to possible complications, such as urinary difficulties, infections or bleeding.
  • Patient Selection :Focal cryotherapy is not suitable for all patients, due to factors such as the size and location of the cancer. It can only be used in certain patients.

Why opt for cryosurgery?

What is cryosurgery?

Cryosurgery, or cryotherapy ablation, is a technique in which a cryogenic probe is used to freeze prostate cancer cells. This is usually done under local or general anaesthetic, depending on the cancer patient's medical history. The probe is inserted rectally, specifically targeting the prostate gland while preserving surrounding tissue.

Why choose cryosurgery?

Cryosurgery offers a number of advantages, including protection of nearby tissues such as the bladder and urethra. It can also be performed on patients who are unable to undergo other treatments. What's more, it is an effective surgical option for reducing the mortality associated with localized prostate cancer.

What are the benefits for patients?

Less invasiveness, faster recovery and often less scarring are key benefits of cryosurgery.

Are there any risks involved in cryosurgery?

As with any procedure, cryosurgery can cause side effects such as temporary urinary problems. However, it is designed to minimize damage to surrounding tissues and is low risk for serious side effects. 

What types of conditions can cryosurgery treat?

Cryosurgery is used to treat a variety of conditions, including localized tumors, skin lesions, eye problems and certain gynecological conditions.