Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

New treatment to shrink prostate

A new treatment for non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate has been recommended for use by the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has approved prostate artery embolisation (PAE).

The treatment blocks some of the blood supply to the prostate using tiny synthetic beads, causing the troublesome tissue to shrink and die.

It involves inserting hundreds of very small (0.2mm) plastic beads into a blood vessel in the groin and is carried out under local anaesthetic, with no overnight stay in hospital.

A total of 18 centres in the UK have already been offering the treatment as part of a trial.

In trials, PAE was compared to conventional prostate surgery and was found to be safe.

It also provided a clinically and statistically significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life for men with enlarged prostate.

Dr Nigel Hacking, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at University Hospital Southampton, said: “Results from the study show PAE can help large numbers of men suffering with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It is a good option for men who are not yet ready to undergo more invasive prostate surgery.”

Related Articles


Blood sample analysis

Nightingale Health will analyse the biomarker profiles of 500,000 blood samples from UK Biobank. 

Markers Biomarker Protein in Ovarian Cancer Sciencephoto

Clinical chemistry classics: tumour markers

This series continues with a brief review of pioneering work in the development, analysis and clinical application of important tumour markers, with two examples from the CA serum series – CA125 and CA15-3.

Tumor Markers Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Molecule Science Photo

Clinical chemistry classics: tumour markers

This short series continues with a brief review of pioneering work in the development and clinical application of two important tumour markers – serum alpha fetoprotein and urine and serum human chorionic gonadotropin.

Aldernbooke Hospital Alamy

My lab: tour of point-of-care laboratory

Michelle Lineham, Deputy Team Lead and Biomedical Scientist, gives a guided tour of her lab at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.