Research Approach and Overview
The Polascik research group is dedicated to developing the clinical methodology for performing in-situ targeted therapy for early stage prostate cancers.
Research includes development of candidate selection, imaging, treatment schemes, and post-treatment surveillance. In addition, we are investigating the pathological basis for focal therapy.
The goal is to provide a parenchyma-preserving, minimally invasive, outpatient treatment for localized prostate cancer that will preserve a man’s quality of life.
Duke has a multidisciplinary clinical prostate group that includes urology, radiology, pathology, and biomedical engineering. We are developing new techniques in imaging that perhaps can visualize prostate cancer within the prostate.
We correlate our imaging findings with either surgical pathology or biopsy material to ascertain the validity of the imaging study. In this way, we are attempting to move the field forward in an effort to image individual foci of prostate cancer within the prostate, which can lead to targeted biopsy or image-guided targeted therapies.
We have two clinical trials for the focal treatment of prostate cancer.
For men with small volume, localized cancer, we are able to treat only the cancerous portion of the prostate with an ablative device while leaving the normal, non-cancerous portion of the prostate intact. This approach is an individualized, tailored treatment that intends to better preserve quality of life, namely potency and urinary continence.
In this fashion, focal therapy avoids overtreatment, which is common with current whole gland therapies such as surgery or radiation, and its attendant side effects.
Professor of Surgery
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710