New Software for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Treatment Against Prostate Cancer

by VR Sreeraman on Jul 30 2007 4:49 PM

The Heidelberg Clinic for Prostate Treatment is the only hospital in Germany that focuses exclusively on non-invasive prostate treatment. Since five years, the team leader Dr. med. Joachim-Ernst Deuster, together with urologists, has been treating prostate cancer with high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). A new software now reduces the duration of treatment and makes it even less invasive.

Each year, 40,000 men are affected by a malign tumor in the prostate Conventional therapies include radical surgery, radiation with implanted seeds and hormonal treatment with a lot of side effects, such as incontinence and impotence.

The ultrasound treatment device, Sonablate 500, keeps the therapy exceptionally non-invasive and almost free of side effects. Patients are administered a light anesthesia and a probe is inserted into their rectum, which delivers bundled 4 MHz ultrasound waves. This sound penetrates the tissue without causing injuries. Since several sound waves are simultaneously delivered, focusing in on one point as if they were going through a concave mirror, the affected tissue can heat up to 100 degrees Celsius. The cancerous tissue is destroyed. The computer-controlled ultrasound focus point traverses the whole carcinoma. The new software allows the scanning head to encompass an even wider prostate area, the side effects of the ultrasound waves can be reduced and the overall time of treatment shortened.

The treatment only takes a few hours. "The major benefit of our treatment method is that most patients maintain their sexual ability", confirms urologist Dr. Deuster. Since the year 2002 almost 500 men have successfully undergone this modern, non-invasive treatment in the Heidelberg Clinic for Prostate Therapy.

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