July 8, 2009 - High-Intensity-Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), which uses high-frequency sound waves to heat up tissue, is an experimental cancer therapy for prostate cancer that may be able to treat men without surgery and offer fewer side effects, according to the results of a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.
In the study, which took place at University College Hospital in London and the privately owned Princess Grace Hospital in London, treated a group of 172 men with prostate cancer that had not spread were treated under general anaesthetic with HIFU.
The men taking part in the trial were discharged on average five hours after receiving the HIFU treatment. Typically men with prostate cancer are treated with either surgery or radiotherapy. Surgery usually requires a two to three day inpatient stay and radiotherapy requires daily treatment as an outpatient for up to one month.
Of the initial group, 159 men were followed up a year later and 92 percent did not have any recurrence of prostate cancer. Although this was not a comparative study, it would be expected that traditional treatments for early prostate cancer of surgery or radiotherapy would show a similar percentage of men showing no recurrence of their prostate cancer one year on.
Less than one percent - one man of the 159 followed up - had incontinence. And 30-40 percent had impotence. None had any bowel problems.
Ahmed et al. High-Intensity-Focused Ultrasound in the treatment of primary prostate cancer: the first UK series. 1 July, 2009. British Journal of Cancer.
For more information: www.ukhifu.co.uk