Bristol Hospital offers Sonablate prostate cancer treatment on
Update, 2 March 2007: Southmead
Hospital no longer offers the prostate HIFU treatment. It is now available
at the Nuffield Hospital Bristol, Bristol Royal Infirmary and Tetbury
5 July 2006
Farmingdale, N.Y., USA & Bristol, England.
Southmead Hospital, part of North Bristol NHS Trust in England, will offer
the Sonablate 500 for high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of
prostate cancer on a fee-per-use basis.
The Sonablate 500 is a medical device developed by Focus Surgery, Inc.
and manufactured and distributed in Europe by Misonix Inc. (Nasdaq: MSON).
In the United Kingdom (UK), the device is marketed through Misonix
subsidiary UK-HIFU Limited. The fee-per-use program for the Sonablate 500
was launched in early 2006 and is available in forty sites. Previously, the
Sonablate 500 had only been available in the UK for capital equipment
Southmead Hospital's Bristol Urology Unit will use the HIFU
device for non-invasive treatment of prostate cancer. Many doctors are
showing interest in the device because of its ability to deliver highly
targeted treatment which generally do not require a second procedure for
transurethral resection of the prostate, a surgical process in which tissue
is cut from the prostate using a resectoscope. A different HIFU device
available in the UK requires a separate initial procedure because of its
limited ability to treat the size of the average prostate gland. Therefore,
the patient must undergo two separate procedures which combine for what is
estimated to be a lengthier treatment cycle than the single procedure with
the Sonablate 500.
According to a story in The Bristol Evening Post, Paul
Williams, aged 58, was one of the first people to benefit from the HIFU
treatment. "When I first heard I had prostate cancer I was really worried
that it would be a long painful treatment," he said. "But the HIFU treatment
was no trouble at all... I was also concerned that it would make me
impotent, but everything seems to be A-OK in that department. After I had
the treatment I was back playing golf by the end of the week."
health care providers using the Sonablate 500 have selected our device among
the other alternatives because of its efficacy and its single-procedure
treatment that is both sensitive to the patient's lifestyle as well as
ongoing efforts by regulators, insurers and medical practitioners to control
the cost of health care," said Michael A. McManus, Jr., President and Chief
Executive Officer of Misonix.
"Our device has the ability to destroy the cancerous tissue and at the
same time preserve the vital structures around the gland. Using the
Sonablate 500's unique visually directed HIFU process, more precise
targeting of cancer cells enable the physician to avoid damaging the
neurovascular bundle and other delicate surroundings. As a result, patients
enjoy relatively normal post-procedure body functions. Results to date
indicate that 90% of men treated with the Sonablate 500 are retaining the
same level of erectile function post-treatment as their pre-treatment levels
and there have been no cases of urinary incontinence lasting more than six
"The Sonablate has led to very positive outcomes for the treatment of more
than 100 men with prostate cancer in the UK during the last 12 months alone.
In recent months, we have been successful in bringing the device to
significantly more medical facilities on a fee-per-use basis, thus enabling
the treatment of many more men diagnosed with prostate cancer. There are now
a total of forty sites in the UK where HIFU prostate cancer treatment with
the Sonablate 500 is available on a fee-per-use basis, which is an increase
of approximately 20% during the past two months."