HIFU Shows Promise As a Prostate Cancer Therapy

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AMSTERDAM—High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) shows promise as a treatment for early-stage prostate cancer, according to interim study results presented here at the 7th Meeting of the European Association of Urology's Section of Oncological Urology.

The study included 20 men with stage T1c-T2b, N0, and M0 unilateral prostate cancer. All subjects had a PSA of 15 ng/mL or lower, a Gleason score of 7 or less, and a prostate size of 40 cc or less. Six months after treatment with HIFU, 95% of men were able to achieve erections and had pad-free urinary continence.

Also six months post-procedure, 55% of men had wet ejaculations and no patient had rectal toxicity. One man refused a biopsy at six months. Of the 19 men who underwent biopsy, two (10.5%) had cancer recurrence. One patient was switched to active surveillance and the other underwent another HIFU treatment. Six months later, magnetic resonance imaging and biopsy revealed no evidence of disease.

“By treating the disease using focal therapy we avoid the morbidity associated with radical therapy, while restoring men to a position in which they can have access to active surveillance,” said lead investigator Mark Emberton, MD, Consultant Urologist at University College London Hospital in London.

“It's controversial, but it's definitely exciting—focal therapy is currently the only strategy on the table that might lead to significant and important reductions in treatment-related harms.”

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