Urology - UNBLOCS trial results

Unblocs Trial results

The Bristol Urological Institute, a world renowned centre for urological research and urodynamics, at North Bristol NHS Trust has just completed a  £1.2 million three year trial, funded by the National Institute of for Health Research (NIIHR) to compare the current ‘gold’ standard treatment TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate) for treating men with an enlarged prostate gland compared to a new type of laser called Thulium.
As men get older it is common for their prostate gland to get bigger. The prostate gland sits at the exit of the bladder like a collar so when it enlarges it can be difficult, or even impossible, for men to pass urine or can cause other bothersome urinary symptoms. 25,000 men each year have an operation to relieve this problem by reducing the size of the prostate, making it one of the most common operations performed in the NHS.
One of the reasons for carrying out the trial was a suggestion that the laser procedure may have resulted in less time in hospital and with less bleeding.
The results have clearly shown that both procedures showed a good improvement with no difference in hospital stay or bleeding. However, the men who received the TURP procedure showed a better improvement in their flow rate, though both procedures were clinically significant.  Both groups of men also scored equally in terms of their quality of life and lower urinary tract symptoms following their procedure.
Although the current gold standard TURP, is slightly more cost effective and takes slightly less time than the laser procedure, the results have shown that both procedures are effective for treating men with lower tract symptoms.
The results of the trial will now form a framework for NICE (National Institute of health and Excellence) ensuring that we are giving men the best available treatment.

Professor Hashim Hashim Chief Investigator talks about the trial in more depth. 

Research results

Results of this trial have now been published in the following publications:

Link to NIHR HTA Journal

Link to Lancet publication