HIFU - High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Minimally Invasive Prostate Cancer Treatment
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, is a therapy that destroys tissue with rapid heat elevation, which essentially "cooks" the tissue. Ultrasound energy, or sound waves, is focused at a specific location and at that "focal point" the temperature raises to 90 degrees Celsius in a matter of seconds.
"Dr. Blumenthal is one of only a few select physicians performing HIFU treatment in the mid-Atlantic region".
What is HIFU?
HIFU, which is short for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, is a state-of-the-art technology acoustic ablation technique that utilizes the power of ultrasound to destroy deep-seated tissue with pinpoint accuracy for treatment of prostate cancer. HIFU focuses sound waves in a targeted area which rapidly increases the temperature in the focal zone causing tissue destruction.
In most cases, HIFU is a 1-4 hour, one-time procedure performed on an out-patient basis.
How Does HIFU Work Against Prostate Cancer?
In order to understand the basic concept of how HIFU works, an analogy can be drawn between HIFU ablating the prostate and sunrays entering a magnifying glass to burn a leaf. When a magnifying glass is held above a leaf in the correct position on a sunny day the sunrays intersect below the lens and cause the leaf to burn at the point of intersection.
The scientific principles at work in this example are the same as those with HIFU. Instead of light as the energy source, HIFU utilizes sound. Instead of a magnifying glass HIFU uses a transducer. Just as the individual sunray is harmless to the hand, the individual sound wave is harmless to the healthy tissue it travels through.
The Sonablate® 500
The Sonablate® 500 (SB500) is a minimally invasive medical device, developed by Focus Surgery Inc.(Indianapolis, IN) that uses High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) to treat prostate cancer and BPH.
The Sonablate® is the only HIFU device for prostate cancer that does not regularly require a TURP procedure prior to treatment in order to achieve effective results.
The Sonablate® uses a single transducer to obtain real-time images of the prostate during treatment and provide treatment in multiple treatment zones. The Sonablate® software allows the surgeon to customize each treatment zones in order to safely ablate the entire gland.
The technology behind the device originated at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis in the 1970s. It was further developed in leading research centers across the globe.