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The PART Study

Trial categories: Cancer

Sponsoring organisation: University of Oxford

The PART Study is comparing radical prostatectomy and partial ablation (using HIFU) of the prostate in men with unilateral, intermediate risk prostate cancer. This is the first phase III study of its kind and is funded by the NIHR HTA Programme.

The PART study will be conducted in two stages: a feasibility stage followed by the main recruitment stage.

Prostate cancer has become the most common cancer in men, accounting for around 13 percent of male deaths from cancer in the UK and is the second most common cause of male cancer deaths, after lung cancer. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is 1 in 9 for men in the UK (Cancer Research 2011). The incidence is increasing with wider use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in asymptomatic men and with the UK's population ageing.

Whilst prostate cancer can be lethal, the majority of men who are diagnosed through PSA-testing will not suffer clinically significant consequences from the disease during their life time, and evidence that treating such men with radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiotherapy improves survival sufficiently to outweigh the adverse impact on quality of life is weak.

A number of new minimally invasive techniques have been developed to treat prostate cancer, but as yet they have not been evaluated sufficiently to reliably inform their utilisation within the NHS. Techniques include HIFU, which is the technology being assessed in PART stage 1.

Our hypothesis in PART is that partial ablation of the prostate using minimally invasive therapies can achieve organ preservation, reduced side-effects, maintenance of good voiding and sexual function, without compromise to oncological outcomes, cancer progression and disease-specific death in unilateral intermediate risk prostate cancer.

PART is the first ever phase III study comparing partial ablation and radical surgery.

Who can take part in this study?

You may be able to join this trial if you have prostate cancer that is contained within one area of your prostate gland and your doctor thinks it is unlikely to grow or spread for a few years (medium or intermediate risk localised prostate cancer).

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply: you

  • are not fit or well enough to have surgery
  • have significant cancer in both sides of your prostate gland
  • have prostate cancer that is considered to be low risk or high risk (rather than medium risk)
  • have already had treatment for prostate cancer
  • have been diagnosed with another type of primary cancer
  • are not able to have an ultrasound probe into your back passage to scan your prostate (transrectal ultrasound) for any reason
  • are allergic to latex.

For further details please contact the PART study team: