High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, is a therapy option for localized prostate cancer that may offer a balance between eliminating cancer and maintaining quality of life. HIFU is an out-patient, radiation-free procedure from which one can truly walk away.
When undergoing treatment for Prostate Cancer, in addition to the anxiety associated with a potentially life threatening illness, patients also have to cope with the risks associated with their treatment. Currently, the risks of incontinence and/or impotence resulting from surgery or radiation may be of utmost concern for patients. With HIFU, treatment is designed to mitigate these risks by preserving the nerves to the penis that promote erections and avoiding the urinary sphincter that controls continence.
HIFU is a state-of-the-art technology that utilizes ultrasound energy to destroy targeted tissue during a procedure that is customized for each patient’s prostate cancer treatment. When HIFU energy is delivered to a specific location within the prostate, the tissue temperature at that site, or focal point, is elevated to nearly 195 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds, resulting in tissue destruction, while the tissue outside the focal point remains unharmed.
HIFU as a treatment modality for patients with Prostate Cancer began initially in the 1990’s, and with refinement of technique and advancement in technology it has gained worldwide acceptance.
HIFU is a technique that has shown increasing popularity in Asia, Europe and Canada where over 30,000 cases have been performed. Currently under FDA investigation, HIFU is being conducted in United States on a clinical trial basis and offshore as a primary treatment for localized prostate cancer. Treatment is usually done on an ambulatory basis with patients returning rapidly to normal activity.