HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) is one of the newer treatments for prostate cancer. Although not yet approved in the United States it has received a lot of press and growing popularity as a primary treatment option. There are a number of European countries already using it as a regular treatment modality and there are a number of treatment trials on going in the U.S.

UCLA urologists have announced an open enrollment for men on the West Coast of a national study using (HIFU) to treat recurrent prostate cancer, recurrent following radiation therapy.

This investigational HIFU treatment is being offered at UCLA on an out-patient basis. There is no placebo arm in the study and all study-related costs are borne by the sponsor, USHIFU.

“Many patients who receive radiation (X-ray) therapy for prostate cancer suffer recurrent disease,” said Dr. Leonard Marks, principal investigator and professor of urology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “This new treatment may offer an effective non-invasive option to eradicate recurrent cancer.”

What is HIFU? It is a technique that, under anesthesia, aims sound waves at the prostate tissue. These sound waves rapidly increases tissue temperature, destroying the cancerous lesions.

To qualify for the clinical trial, participants must have recurrent prostate cancer after treatment with external beam radiation therapy. Initial screening visits will involve physical exams, blood tests and an ultrasound of the prostate.

Qualifying participants will receive the outpatient HIFU procedure and follow-up for a year after treatment. All study-related costs, including the HIFU treatment, will be covered by the research study.

Common procedural side effects include temporary pain in the area where the HIFU was performed, inability or difficulty with urination, and blood in the urine or semen.

To find out more about this study and other study sites go to the clinical trials link in this blod (under resourses) or go to www.clinicaltrials.gov. Before starting any trial discuss the trial with your oncologist and make sure you completely understand all the potential adverse side effects.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW