New Study Demonstrates Effectiveness of Ablative Salvage HIFU Therapy for Prostate Cancer Patients Following Radiation Failure

June 15, 2020 2:39 pm Published by

One of the largest studies carried out in men in whom prostate cancer had recurred following radiotherapy concluded that Salvage Focal Ablative HIFU therapy for radio- recurrent prostate cancer is safe and provides good short to medium-term oncological control. This study of the Imperial College NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College of London was presented at the at the International ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) cancer meeting on May 29, 2020.

The study’s findings are significant as each year in the U.S. approximately 30,000 to 50,000 men with prostate cancer are treated with radiotherapy. While radiotherapy can avoid some of the serious common side effects of radical prostate cancer surgery like urinary incontinence and ED, recurrence rates are extremely high. Approximately 30% of men will have evidence of recurrent disease within five years. Traditional treatment is permanent use of medication that eliminates most or all of a man’s testosterone. Side effects are life altering and potentially very serious. Men with radio-recurrent prostate cancer now have an effective alternative treatment with focal ablative salvage HIFU therapy that is safe and provides good cancer control over 6 years.

Let’s compare Salvage Focal HIFU to two other treatment options for recurrent prostate cancer patients.

  • Hormone altering medication (anti-testosterone treatment). This does not eliminate the cancer. Patients wake up every day with no energy, mental focus or libido. It causes serious side effects that include bone thinning (osteoporosis), obesity, visual disturbances and significantly increases the risk for diabetes, fluid retention, heart disease and stroke.
  • Radical salvage surgery (salvage prostatectomy) removes what is left of the prostate after radiation. Almost all men have significant urine leakage requiring diapers 24/7, total erectile dysfunction and 5-10% get rectal injury that may require a colostomy or other major reconstructive surgery.
  • Salvage HIFU Focal therapy is minimally-invasive and uses focused ultrasound energy to target and treat selectively only those regions of the prostate where cancer has recurred. There are no incisions and minimal pain. Most patients go home the same day and are back to work within several days without side effects of urinary leakage and erectile dysfunction.

The study results showed:

  • At six years, 3 out of 4 patients treated with focal therapy had their cancer controlled and did not need hormones or surgery.
  • Cancer specific survival was 97.2%.
  • The procedure is safe; less than1 in 100 patients had a significant complication.
  • Rectal injury was 0.3%
  • Researchers have shown in another study that urine leakage needing pads after salvage HIFU was only 12.5% (vs. 100% after salvage radical surgery)

At Western States HIFU, I rarely recommend radiation for prostate cancer treatment due to the high recurrence rates. If you have had radiation and now have a recurrence, I am one of the most experienced HIFU doctors in the world and have been doing this remarkable procedure since 2005. If you would like additional information please, call 844-443-8362 to schedule an appointment.


This post was written by Western States HIFU