High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultrasound energy to destroy cancerous tissue with focused sound waves. It has been used for a period of time in both Europe and Mexico as a primary prostate cancer treatment. Currently, in the United States there is a phase III trial being conducted using HIFU for this purpose.
Now, in a new study, men with locally recurrent prostate cancer may be able to receive investigational HIFU treatment.
This new phase III clinical trial at Specialists in Urology, located in North Naples, FL, is investigating the safety and efficacy of HIFU for the treatment of locally recurrent prostate cancer following failed external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). This FDA approved trial will also include several additional sites in the U.S.
HIFU works by eliminating prostate cancer by increasing tissue temperatures to more than 195 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds. In this trial the therapeutic ultrasound device is targeted to destroy what remains of the prostate gland in one procedure without causing damage to tissue around the prostate.
The trial will begin enrolling patients in September.
Participants in the trial will be between the ages of 40 and 80, have biopsy confirmed local recurrence two or more years following EBRT, confined prostate cancer with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) greater than or equal to .5 ng/mL and less than or equal to 10 ng/mL and a Gleason score of less than or equal to seven.
To learn more about enrolling in this HIFU trial, call 1-877-874-4389, or visit www.ProstateCancerRecurrentTrial.org.
The use of HIFU is considered an investigational treatment which is performed on an outpatient basis. Potential risks of the treatment include frequency, urgency, mild discomfort or discharge in urinary stream. Less common side effects may also include urinary stricture, retention, incontinence, impotence and rectal fistula.
As with all clinical trials you should consult your oncologist to decide if entering the trial is a good idea for you.
I have met some men who have used HIFU as a primary treatment. They all have reported satisfaction with the treatment, but none of these treatments were performed longer than two years ago. However, two years is a short term after the primary treatment of prostate cancer to make any solid evaluations, but I do believe that HIFU does hold out the possibility of being an excellent primary treatment. Only time will tell.
Using HIFU for recurrent prostate cancer may also prove to be a good treatment modality. This study should merit your consideration if you qualify. The trial certainly merits our monitoring its results.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW
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