HIFU treatment for prostate cancer maintains 100% continence and potency
3 April 2007
Farmingdale, NY, USA. A study at University College London
Hospitals (UCLH) using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat
localised prostate cancer has found it completely effective in maintaining
continence and potency.
The study evaluated hemiablation therapy using the
Misonix, Inc. (Nasdaq: MSON) Sonablate 500 (SB500) HIFU device in the
treatment of localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate (prostate cancer).
According to Dr. Mark Emberton, a leading surgeon for the study and
member of the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the Royal College of Surgeons
of England, London, UK, the results show that the hemiablation procedures
were successfully completed with positive ablation of cancerous tissue in
the effected area of the prostate gland, and patients showed 100% continence
and 100% potency in follow-up examinations.
Unlike many of the traditional prostate cancer surgeries which treat or
remove the entire gland, HIFU hemiablation using the SB500 involves ablation
of cancer in patients who have had biopsy-proven prostate cancer limited to
one side of the prostate.
According to Nick Stevens, Managing Director at Misonix’s UKHIFU subsidiary,
“The hemiablation technique is very important and the study we are involved
with represents the most comprehensive of its kind. This treatment process
has significant implications in allowing non-invasive cancer therapy of the
prostate while enabling substantial quality of life benefits and reducing
patient risk and one-time as well as ongoing healthcare costs.
“It is with these benefits in view that we are pleased to have these
studies partially funded by Cancer Research UK, the leading funder and
largest charity of cancer research in the UK, and the approval by the UK
National Cancer Research Network (NCRN), which is a UK government
Dr. Hashim Uddin Ahmed, a clinical research fellow at the
UCLH, presented the Hemiablation trial at the Annual Misonix HIFU Society
meeting at the end of March.
In explaining the necessity for the study, Dr. Uddin Ahmed noted that men
diagnosed with localized prostate cancer (cancer that is confined to only
the prostate) generally have had limited options of care: active
surveillance or radical therapy. Active surveillance involves ongoing
diagnostic healthcare costs for intensive monitoring with PSA and repeat
biopsy, until it is determined that the cancer risk has increased and
treatment is necessary.
Generally recommended radical treatment has involved the destruction or
removal of the whole prostate gland; an alternative to radical surgery is
radiotherapy or the radiation of the entire gland which has a side effect of
radiating all/part of the patient’s body. In his presentation Dr Ahmed
quoted figures for radical prostatectomy showing erectile dysfunction of
between 20%-90%, and incontinence of 20-30%. These treatment options
presented significant shortcomings for patients, until the new HIFU
hemiablation technique was introduced.
The HIFU hemiablation research project challenges the assumption that all
men need to have their whole gland and the surrounding structures treated
irrespective of the amount and location of their prostate cancer.
Men with prostate cancer only evident in one half of their prostate
following MRI and extensive biopsy are candidates for this treatment. With
HIFU hemiablation, the intent is to provide a form of focal therapy treating
only the half of the prostate affected, leaving the other half intact and
unaffected. According to surgeons familiar with this process, the concept is
similar to that of “lumpectomy” over mastectomy in breast cancer. The SB500
HIFU study seeks to cure or at least actively control the cancer and not
cause any side effects.
“Medical technology companies such as Misonix are making great strides in
the treatment of cancer,” said Michael A. McManus, Jr., President and Chief
Executive Officer of Misonix.
“The prevalence of prostate cancer has raised the need for early
detection and there are now far more precise methods of diagnosing early
stage prostate cancer. For many men with prostate cancer, the associated
risks of traditional therapies are not easily accepted.
“As a result, new
treatments and modalities have been sought to eliminate the cancer in its
earlier stage before it becomes a greater risk — as well as when the cancer
spreads and becomes a substantial life threatening risk. HIFU with the
Sonablate 500, which many are considering the most important trend for the
treatment of prostate cancer in Europe as well as around the world, is
proving to be the modality of choice for localized as well as broader cancer
treatment of the prostate gland.”