Improving outcomes for prostate cancer
Ascension University of Michigan Prostate Implant Program
Our physicians are actively involved in clinical trials of new prostate cancer treatments – often giving patients access to the newest, most promising cancer treatments before they are widely available. Our leadership began more than 20 years ago, when Providence-Providence Park Hospital and University of Michigan began collaborating on research to improve outcomes for prostate cancer treatments.
Radioactive Seed Implant Therapy
Ascension offers state-of the art seed implant therapy for prostate cancer that delivers remarkable, proven results. Radioactive seeds implants (a half-day, outpatient procedure) provide a very high dose of radiation to the prostate cancer by being placed within the prostate and within the cancer. The dose to surrounding tissues is extremely low. Dr. Bill McLaughlin, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan and Director of Radiation Oncology at St. John Providence Hospital, has pioneered research that improves this technique.
Vessel Sparing Radiation
Dr. McLaughlin has also pioneered an innovative procedure known as vessel sparing radiation. This curative treatment course can preserve sexual function, and reduce impact to urinary and rectal tissues.
Vessel sparing radiation is like nerve-sparing prostatectomy. Over a decade ago it was discovered that nerves responsible for erections could be spared during prostate removal for cancer. Interestingly, the nerves are not affected by radiation, and the mechanism of erection problems after radiation is vessel related rather than nerve related. Both procedures – nerve-sparing surgery and vessel-sparing radiation – demonstrate that physicians treating cancer want to accomplish two things: cure the cancer and preserve quality of life.
IMRT Beam Radiation Combined with Permanent Seed Implant
One of the most effective treatments for prostate cancer is the combination of radioactive seed implantation with external radiation. Radiation beam treatment can deliver a cloud of radiation around the prostate to destroy any cancer cells which may have escaped the prostate. This treatment is another outcome of our long-standing collaboration with the University of Michigan.
To schedule a consultation with our radiation oncology specialists, call 248-465-4300.