After being diagnosed with prostate cancer and a PSA of 29 in 2011, Mick was eventually selected for a trial of a relatively new treatment called cryotherapy at University College London Hospital (UCLH) in March 2016. He describes what happened and the results of the treatment so far.
Having had all the tests, I was deemed suitable for the cryotherapy trial and went into UCLH as a day patient on my 78th birthday. I was talked through the procedure by the surgeon and the anaesthetist, then taken to the operating theatre around 11am.
The procedure consisted of inserting a probe into the prostate and lowering the temperature to 100 degrees below zero, warming it back up to body temperature, then repeating the process once again. The whole procedure took about an hour.
I had no side effects and was able to go home at 8pm the same day with a catheter fitted to be removed by the district nurses after a few days.
By May 2016, just two-and-a-half months after the procedure, my PSA level had gone down from 0.16 to 0.02. In September, at a UCLH follow up appointment, my PSA had remained at 0.02 and I was taken off the hormone injections and Bicalutamide I had been taking since 2013.
I was told that my PSA would rise very slightly and would then level off, which is what happened. It rose to 0.04 and has stayed the same ever since. I had another follow up in May 2017 and my PSA level was just 0.05. That's almost nothing - especially after more than a year since the procedure. I'd certainly recommend cryotherapy to anybody who might benefit from it.
Our Specialist Nurses say:
"Cryotherapy is not currently widely available in the UK, nor is it usually offered as a standard treatment option on the NHS. While we're delighted Mick has benefited so much from the treatment on the clinical trial at UCLH, at the moment there isn't sufficient clinical data to be able to compare the effectiveness of cryotherapy with more established treatments. Like other focal therapies that target just the prostate, such as HIFU, we hope there will be more evidence from ongoing trials - like the one Mick is part of - to be able to advocate their more widespread use."