There is a new treatment option for patients with prostate cancer that is confined to the organ, and not spread to other areas of the body. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a minimally invasive, out-patient, and radiation-free procedure that patients can undergo in a few hours and return home the same day. This advancement in the treatment of prostate cancer is making it possible for patients with earlier stages of the disease to maintain their quality of life without surgery. Even if the prostate cancer returns, no matter what form of treatment was previously used, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound can be used again for localized treatment. The use of HIFU also does not rule out other treatment options for recurring cancer.
Sonablate HIFU Procedure
There are several forms of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU):
. Standard HIFU Procedure: Ablation of the entire prostate gland.
. Focal HIFU Therapy: Targeted only to the area in the prostate gland
where the tumor is located.
. Salvage Treatment: Option for patients with a recurrence of prostate
During all types of HIFU therapy, a transrectal probe is used to direct ultrasound waves to the prostate. Then the temperature is rapidly elevated to 195- degrees Fahrenheit in 2-3 seconds which causes tissue ablation. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound is typically used to treat or ablate the entire prostate; however, it can also be used to target only the affected area, leaving the healthy surrounding areas of the prostate unharmed.
During the procedure, Tissue Change Monitoring Software (TCM) allows surgeons to monitor the prostate tissue’s reaction to the ultrasound waves in real time and make any alterations when needed. The precision of the Sonablate HIFU allows for flexibility in the procedure, making it possible for physicians to offer a customized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s diagnosis.
In most cases, HIFU takes between two to four hours and the catheter that is inserted during the procedure is typically worn for one to four weeks. Patients are usually up and walking around within hours after HIFU and can return to normal activities within a couple of days.
Currently, HIFU procedures are only being conducted outside the United States since the treatment has not yet been approved by the FDA. However, there are several clinical trials to test the effects of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for recurrent prostate cancer in patients who tried other forms of radiation treatment as well as patients who have been diagnosed but not currently under treatment.
Focus on a cancer-free life. Talk to your doctor about how High Intensity Focused Ultrasound may help you in the fight against prostate cancer.