Clinical trials are studies designed to test the most promising new treatments. People participate in a clinical trial for a variety of reasons: to try a new and promising treatment method, to contribute to the development of future treatments, or to help find a cure. Most clinical trials require a patient to qualify with certain medical criteria. Some trials can be joined before your first surgery, others during radiation, others at the point of recurrence. You can ask your doctor if you are eligible for a trial, or get a second opinion at any time.
An example of focal therapy is cryosurgery, also called cryotherapy or cryoablation. It is the freezing of cancer cells with a metal probe inserted through a small incision in the area between the rectum and the scrotum, the skin sac that contains the testicles. It is not an established therapy or standard of care for men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cryosurgery has not been compared with radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy, so doctors do not know if it is a comparable treatment option. Its effects on urinary and sexual function are also not well defined.