Di Venere Hospital, Department of Urology, Bari, Italy.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a minimally invasive treatment based on thermal ablation of tissues which are warmed up to 85 degrees C in the focal area. Clinical studies have shown such treatment modality to be safe and effective in the management of localised prostate cancer as well as of local recurrences after radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy.
From May 2002 to June 2010, 171 patients with no previous treatment for prostate cancer, aged 44 to 86 years (mean 74.7) underwent 197 HIFU treatments; 22 patients needed a second treatment as the first was incomplete (4 patients) or because of recurrence (18 patients). The prognosis subgroups were defined as low-risk in 29 patients (clinical stage T1-T2a, PSA < or = 10 ng/mL and Gleason score lower than 7), intermediate-risk in 47 patients (clinical stage T2b or PSA 10 - 20 ng/mL or Gleason score of 7), and high-risk in 95 patients (clinical stage > or = T2c or PSA > 20 ng/mL or Gleason score higher than 7).
At a mean follow-up of 67.9 months, biochemical success rate (PSA constantly < 0.5 ng/ml) was obtained in 84.2% of low and intermediate risk patients and in 43.1% of high risk patients; post-treatment biopsies (6 months after treatment) revealed no residual tumour in 93.4% of low or intermediate risk patients and in 63.1% of high risk patients.
Radical prostatectomy remains the "gold standard" for localised prostate cancer. However, HIFU seems to be a promising alternative and less invasive treatment modality with an encouraging success rate, at least in the short-term, in patients with low and medium risk of progression, not candidates for radical surgery; in cancers with clinical stage > or = T2c, or PSA > 20 ng/mL, or Gleason score higher than 7 seems to get good results in about half of patients.
Callea A, Piccinni R, Zizzi V, Sblendorio D, Berardi B, Tempesta A, Gala FG, Traficante A. Are you the author?
Reference: Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2010 Dec;82(4):253-5.