Globally, the increased uptake of serum PSA level screening led to an increase in the number of diagnoses of low-risk and intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Traditionally, these patients have been considered for either active surveillance programmes or radical whole-gland therapies, such as prostatectomy or radiotherapy. Focal therapy is an emerging treatment option that involves the focal ablation of prostate cancer with preservation of surrounding healthy tissue. This approach might result in reduced morbidity when compared with whole-gland therapies. In current practice, much controversy surrounds optimal patient selection and preoperative tumour localization strategies. Focal therapy modalities include cryotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, laser ablation, photodynamic therapy, irreversible electroporation, radiofrequency ablation and focal brachytherapy. However, as long-term oncological data for focal therapies are lacking, formal recommendations for its use cannot be made.