High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, is a treatment that has only recently obtained FDA approval in the United States. Because of the this, it is not yet widely available in the U.S., although it has been available for some time in many nearby countries in Central America. If your local hospital does not yet offer this procedure, it may still be possible to enter clinical trials of HIFU.
HIFU works by destroying tissue with rapid heat pulses that focus on the cancer that has not yet spread to other parts of the body. The procedure involves using a transrectal ultrsound probe to aim sound waves on the prostate tumor. The cancer cells are then heated to a very high temperature so they will die. The entire procedure takes about two hours and the patient needs to have a urinary catheter in place for about two weeks following the procedure.
Studies on this treatment’s effectiveness are limited. However, preliminary research shows survival rates are 90 percent at five years and 83 percent at eight years. You can watch two videos of patients who have undergone HIFU at this link. These two patients are not affiliated with ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, and their videos are not meant as an endorsement of this treatment. To search for a clinical trial using HIFU, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials section or the clinical trials database at www.clinicaltrials.gov. You can also call the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-422-6237 if you need assistance searching for a clinical trial. To learn more about clinical trials in general, visit our clinical trials section.