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BPH: An Expanding Opportunity

Executive Summary

Directed energy device-based medical therapies have greatly influenced the way physicians deliver care in a number of medical specialties. One of the most dramatic areas of change has been in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia, commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. DE treatments in this area have become so popular there has been a noticeable decline in once standard surgical therapies since the late 1990s as patients have migrated to these less-invasive alternatives. This expansion in BPH DE-based therapies is being driven not only by a shift toward less-invasive treatment options, but also by the rising number of patients susceptible to prostate ailments.

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The clinical trial data that earned the AquaBeam Aquablation system de novo clearance from US FDA in December shows Aquablation is as effective as transurethral resection of the prostate at treating symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia, but carries a lower risk of complications associated.

Potential Breakthrough Treatment For Enlarged Prostate

A potential breakthrough treatment for patients with an enlarged prostate is attracting attention as studies begin to show a new interventional technique could be a very effective alternative to surgery. A minimally invasive procedure known as prostate artery embolization was one of the main subjects of an interventional radiology conference, where results of a study were recently released.

Seeking New Options for Prostate Cancer

Recent reports questioning the benefits of early prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment have raised an industry-wide debate that has been fueled by the limitations of prostate-specific antigen tests, currently the standard of care for early prostate cancer detection. While the industry searches to improve the use of PSA tests, urologists are asking, "are we over treating our patients?" That question was repeatedly voiced in a number of forums at the American Urological Association's 2010 Annual Meeting. As for a definitive answer to the question, it is a somewhat difficult task to get individual physicians to admit they are personally over treating patients; however, there is definitely a consensus-and a concern-that more patients than necessary are receiving treatments that put them at risk of serious side effects.

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