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Common Questions

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Question: Is HIFU effective in treating prostate cancer?
Sender: admin
Answer: HIFU presents a challenge to patients and providers, as there is a significant lack of clinical data supporting its effectiveness. HIFU ultrasound treatments are a relatively new prostate cancer option and without FDA approval they cannot be performed in the U.S. 

The long-term success of HIFU in eliminating prostate cancer is unknown. Further study is needed to determine whether addressing the cancerous tissue alone, and leaving the prostate intact, is aggressive enough to provide long-term wellness and quality of life. Dr. Samadi’s robotic prostate removal surgery eliminates some of this concern, as the prostate and all visible cancerous tissue is removed from the body. 

As such, HIFU may be a better prostate cancer treatment option for men who are not surgical candidates or who have undergone previous procedures, such as radiation, and are facing recurrence of their prostate cancer.
Question: What are the disadvantages of HIFU?
Sender: admin
Answer: Most important, HIFU is not FDA approved and is not available in the United States. Men who choose to have HIFU for prostate cancer must travel to another country for the procedure without insurance support. 

HIFU is performed without the benefit of real-time, first-hand visualization. Like other prostate cancer treatments, such as CyberKnife® radiation, pre-treatment from PSA testing, prostate biopsy, CT scans, and real-time imaging are used by doctors to approximate the target for the ultrasound. 

Unfortunately, the data available prior to treatment can be very limited and is not always accurate. It is not until the prostate is seen first hand during robotic surgery, and tested after surgery, that the true extend of the prostate cancer is known. The type of prostate cancer, the shape and size of the tumor, and the exact location cannot be established with certainly from biopsy and scans, or from computer imaging. Surgery also affords the opportunity to fully assess the status of the lymph nodes and the seminal vesicles for any presence of cancer.
Question: How is HIFU used to treat prostate cancer?
Sender: admin
Answer: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) targets prostate cancer cells with radiation-free sound waves. HIFU is performed under spinal anesthesia and takes 2-3 hours to complete. Using a rectal probe, the ultrasound beam is pointed at the cancerous prostate to “paint” the prostate gland with HIFU energy while heating and destroying the diseased tissue. The destroyed tissue is later expelled from the body naturally.

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