CLINICAL trials studying the treatment of early prostate cancer are being carried out at Basingstoke hospital by urologists from the borough.

The tests are currently under way to establish the effectiveness of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) – a minimally invasive ultrasound treatment for localised prostate cancer, which has already shown promising results.

Former patient John Quinn was treated with HIFU after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010.

He said: “I’m delighted to say that to this day I’ve not had any symptoms. Life is good, it’s like I’ve never been treated.”

HIFU involves precision focusing of ultrasound waves which rapidly heat and destroy cancerous cells, without affecting healthy tissue surrounding the prostate gland.

The technology allows the urologist to directly monitor and control the treatment.

Consultant urological surgeon Richard Hindley introduced HIFU to Basingstoke, with support from Pelican Cancer Foundation (PCF), the charity which funds clinical research and advancing precision surgery through education.

PCF paid for the initial HIFU equipment at the hospital and continues to fund one of the clinical trials.

Mr Hindley, who is based at Basingstoke hospital, said: “HIFU has altered the way we treat prostate cancer and this will continue to change dramatically over the next few years as a result of these clinical trials.

“The recent developments in imaging and prostate cancer diagnostic techniques, coupled with the arrival of new technologies that can destroy areas of cancer in the prostate, have enabled many men to undergo focal therapy for localised prostate cancer.”

He added: “It is my impression that things are really improving at quite a rapid speed in the field of prostate cancer diagnostics and treatment. With that, I have little doubt that we’ll see an improvement in outcomes in the longer term.”

Mr Hindley is the clinical lead in urology at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, where every case of prostate cancer is discussed at multi-disciplinary meetings, held in the Pelican Centre, attended by all relevant health specialists including surgeons, nurses, healthcare practitioners and trials nurses.

Pelican chief executive Sarah Crane said: “This charity has been delighted to support the HIFU therapy at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital since it was introduced and we continue to provide funding for one of the ongoing clinical trials.

“We believe this research will be invaluable for the continuing development of prostate cancer treatment in the future.”

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