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Emerging therapies

Sonablate HIFU treats prostate cancer, minimizes side effects

04 Jul 2018 Tami Freeman
HIFU delivery
Simulation of HIFU delivery. (Courtesy: SonaCare Medical)

SonaCare Medical has reported five-year outcomes from a study of focal therapy using its Sonablate high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) system. The multicentre study included 625 patients with clinically significant non-metastatic prostate cancer (Eur. Urol. 10.1016/j.eururo.2018.06.006).

With a median follow-up of five years, failure-free survival at one, three and five years was 99%, 92% and 88%, respectively, equivalent to that achieved with surgery. Metastasis-free, cancer-specific and overall survival at five years were 98%, 100% and 99%, respectively. The study reports that 98% of men maintained pad-free urinary continence after their procedure and 85% maintained erectile function – improved outcomes compared with those seen for surgery and radiation therapy.

“Focal HIFU is a major shift in treating men with early prostate cancer,” says contributing author Hashim Ahmed from Imperial College London. “Our study shows that cancer control in the medium term is very good and, importantly, men can expect a low-risk of side effects. All men who are suitable for focal HIFU should be told about this treatment option so they might consider it as an alternative to radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy.”

The study concluded that failure-free survival with HIFU can be equivalent to that of surgery, but with a side-effect profile far more beneficial to the patient’s quality-of-life post-procedure. Mark Carol, CEO of SonaCare Medical, notes that the study encompasses the largest focal treatment patient population to date, followed for the longest period of time.

“Until now, otherwise healthy men with prostate cancer faced the prospect of leaving the hospital after treatment with their cancer treated but with a compromised quality-of-life,” Carol explains. “This study shows it is possible to achieve whole-gland equivalent cancer control rates without the concomitant side-effect profile of whole-gland treatments. Now, otherwise healthy men with prostate cancer can leave the hospital post focal HIFU treatment with their cancer under control yet still healthy. They can even return back to work and activities of daily living the very next day instead of having to wait the weeks required with surgery.”

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