Dr. George Suarez
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
HIFU, or high-intensity focused ultrasound, is a new kind of non-invasive prostate cancer treatment that offers a targeted approach to dealing with cancerous cells utilising ultrasound energy, or sound waves. Because the treatment is so precise, HIFU is able to heat up and destroy cancerous tissues within the prostate gland, whilst leaving the surrounding healthy tissue completely intact.
The treatment involves using a focused ultrasound beam that delivers a temperature of about 90°C on the malignant tissue, completely destroying the diseased cells.
There are a number of advantages HIFU affords compared to traditional treatment options for prostate cancer. Perhaps the biggest of these is that HIFU is performed as an outpatient procedure, with no general anesthetic required. The main difference is that the treatment can be carried out within a maximum of four hours, depending on the size of the infected area. Because HIFU a non-invasive treatment, patients need very little recovery time - indeed, many often leave the clinic on the same day, and can pick up a normal lifestyle within just a few days of the treatment being carried out.
In order to provide patients with the best possible outcome, our clinic uses the most advanced medical device for the HIFU procedure. Developed by Focus Surgery Inc., the Sonablate 500 has proven its success in the treatment of both prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer on numerous occasions.
The Sonablate 500 comes with an impressive array of features, including a built-in dynamic imaging system that combines with specially designed computer software to produce high-quality 3D images of the patient's prostate gland that can be viewed from any angle. Having these images at his fingertips, the physician is able to determine exactly where the HIFU be focused. The prostate gland is broken down into multiple zones, allowing the physician to deliver computer-controlled, user directed treatment with minimal risks to your well-being.
No blood loss or scarring is caused by HIFU therapy, which cannot be said of surgery treatment. In addition, there is no cumulative effect like there is with radiation therapy, which means that the HIFU procedure can be repeated if and when it's necessary, without any additional risk that healthy tissue in the prostate gland might be negatively affected. In addition, HIFU is also an option for those patients who have unsuccessfully tried other forms of therapy to cure their prostate cancer.
For those patients seeking a truly non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer, one which does not require a transurethral resection of the prostate, HIFU is the only option.
Who is a candidate for HIFU treatment?
Experts recommend that HIFU is most effective on men who are suffering from localized, early stage prostate cancer that hasn't spread or metastasized to another part of the body. Of course, no two cases are the same, and so patients should always discuss their medical history and diagnosis with their physician so that they can determine if HIFU is the best treatment for them.
Recurrent prostate cancer
Some patients who have previously undergone alternative treatments such as external beam radiation, radiation therapy, or brachytherapy may experience an increase in PSA. In some cases, their prostate cancer may even return. In such cases, HIFU may well be the best treatment option, particularly if the cancer is has not spread outside of the prostate gland. In addition, patients who have received a radical prostatectomy and late experience the local recurrence are also good candidates for the HIFU procedure.
- Targets malignant tissue only, healthy tissue is not harmed
- No exposure to radiation
- General anesthesia is not required
- Treatment is done on an outpatient basis – no hospital stay required
- Repetition of HIFU is completely safe
- Treatment takes four hours or less
Focus Surgery’s Sonablate 500
This state-of-the-art medical device combines HIFU therapy with high-definition imaging to offer the most precise prostate cancer treatment currently available. The Sonablate employs 3-D ultrasound imaging techniques, providing high-quality images of the prostate gland that can be carefully reviewed by the physician, allowing him to modify the therapy plan to devise the safest and most thorough treatment.
The progress of the HIFU treatment can be monitored in real time, while the procedure itself is speeded up through the integration of multiple focal length transducers within a single probe. In addition, patient’s minds can rest in peace with the knowledge that the Sonablate incorporates a number of safety features that can assess distance and temperature data to minimize any risks during the procedure.