The London Clinic a private hospital and charity located in Harley Street, is offering an innovative new service for men with prostate cancer having a robot assisted radical prostatectomy. ClinicSafe is a modified version of NeuroSAFE TM which originated in Germany. It’s an MRI guided procedure which involves the prostate being removed and frozen, then a section is taken to see whether or not the cancer is close to the nerves which control blood supply to the penis.
Mr Senthil Nathan, Consultant Urological and Robotic Surgeon says, "Robot assisted radical prostatectomy is one of the most successful treatment options for patients with intermediate, or aggressive cancer of the prostate. With the assistance of a robot there is increased precision and control and good outcomes have been achieved worldwide.
"MRI imaging and biopsies, or a combination of both methods, are effective ways of determining where cancerous areas are located. Large studies have shown the positive predictive value (ability of the MRI to indicate cancer) is around 48%. Based on the MRI scans alone, if the nerves of these patients are sacrificed nearly 50% of them may have had them removed unnecessarily.
"We have devised ClinicSafe, which is an MRI guided procedure to improve the accuracy of detecting exactly where the cancer is, in proximity to the nerves.
"If you are diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, having ClinicSafe as a part of your treatment during surgery, means there is no reason why you can’t return to a healthy normal life in a relatively short amount of time.
"To date we have completed 31 procedures with this method. In all these men, the standard procedure would have involved removing the nerves along with the prostate. With this new technology only 3 out of 31 men required partial removal of the nerves on one side, as opposed to sacrificing the nerves on both sides. Therefore, nearly 90% of men in whom there was an indication to carry out a wider excision and sacrifice the nerves, benefited by saving the nerves," he adds.