Opportunities for targeted focal treatment in Japan

Curr Opin Urol. 2015 May;25(3):225-9. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0000000000000163.


Purpose of review: Widespread prostate-specific antigen screening has led to an increase in prostate cancer diagnoses in Asian populations, reflecting changes in socioeconomic status and epidemiological features in these countries. In this setting, the present review explores opportunities for target focal therapy in Japan.

Recent findings: Our review examines several topics relating to focal therapy in Asia, and discusses the current status of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment in that region. First, we summarize the prevalence of prostate cancer in Asian populations. Second, we examine prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment options such as mapping biopsy and MRI fusion biopsy in Japan. Third, we review treatment strategies for localized prostate cancer, especially robotic-assisted surgery, active surveillance, and high-intensity focused ultrasound. Lastly, we discuss the potential for focal therapy in Japan.

Summary: The number of localized prostate cancer patients is expected to increase in Asia. Accordingly, the need for precise diagnosis in terms of localization of prostate cancer foci will also expand. MRI fusion target biopsies are being performed in Asia, particularly in some Japanese academic institutions, but as pilot studies. In recent years, an increase in robotic-assisted surgery in East Asia has yielded new options in prostate cancer treatment. Although active surveillance is a practical choice for low-risk prostate cancer in some Asian countries, focal therapy is expected to see increasing interest as another alternative in Japan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Asian People
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Sentinel Surveillance
  • Ultrasound, High-Intensity Focused, Transrectal*


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen