Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Radiofrequency ablation treatments for prostate cancer use electrical energy to heat and ablate (destroy) small, localized tumors. When performing ablative therapy to treat a cancerous prostate tumor, a physician guides a special, needle-thin probe into the rectum using computer imaging to achieve precise positioning. The physician then delivers high-frequency ultrasound waves directly to the tumor, heating the tissue until it is destroyed.
As a safe and effective alternative to invasive surgery and other treatments designed to shrink or destroy a prostate tumor, radiofrequency ablation offers several other potential benefits:
- The heat application can trigger the immune system to produce an inflammatory response that will continue to target the cancerous tissue.
- A physician can minimize exposure to surrounding healthy tissue by carefully monitoring the temperature and position of the probe throughout treatment.
- Radiofrequency ablation produces little to no discomfort and carries a low risk of complications.
- The treatment can be safely repeated if the cancer returns.
Of course, much like other prostate cancer treatment options, radiofrequency ablation is not suitable for all patients. To help each patient achieve the best possible outcome and quality of life, the multispecialty team of prostate cancer experts in the Genitourinary Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center evaluates multiple factors, including a patient’s age, cancer stage and treatment history, to develop an individualized treatment plan.
At Moffitt, our patients have access to a full range of treatments for prostate cancer, including promising new therapies available only through our renowned clinical trials program. Our research breakthroughs are nationally recognized, and we have earned the prestigious designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center from the National Cancer Institute.