Hifu Ultrasound Treatment - PROTOCOL OPTIONS

Hands On Physician Control

Effectively treating the prostate with HIFU is a science.  Precise power levels have been determined in pre-clinical studies and validated and utilized in treatment with Ablatherm. 

Modifying them during the procedure as is done by Sonoblate may result in under-treatment of the cancer.

The three power levels of the Ablatherm are scientifically based – the foundation of which is the thermal properties of the prostate which is different for the three situations (primary, repeat HIFU, and salvage (post radiation treatment).

The "adjustable power levels" which are promoted as a Sonablate 500 advantage because they allow for customization are actually a disadvantage. The risk of reducing the power in order to protect the rectum from injury is that it may result in tissue sparing. The same risks apply when decreasing power when encroaching on the neurovascular bundles as this involves treating the lateral posterior parts of the prostate, a region known to often contain cancer.

Hifu ultrasound treatment power levelsWhen a computer guided system is used to deliver the treatment, the optimal treatment power can be used throughout the entire prostate without endangering sensitive nearby structures.

HIFU is a technology based procedure and ‘Hands on Physician Control’ has been complemented with automated computer guided control in the Ablatherm to provide the most precise treatment possible. The precise power levels employed with the Ablatherm® can be used without fear of damage to the rectum since the Ablatherm has an automatic safety system which stops the machine from treating if treatment comes too close to the rectum. Because of this safety system the appropriate level of energy needed to effectively treat can be uniformly given to all areas of the prostate by computer guidance.

hifu treatment procedure

Infrared Motion Detection & Automatic Shut Off

If a patient moves during a HIFU procedure the treatment must be stopped immediately. Why? Simply put: because the target, which is the prostate, has moved.

It could be the case that a structure (like the rectal wall) is now in the line of fire.

The Ablatherm® uses an advanced infrared detection system to detect any patient movement. If the patient does move the treatment automatically stops until the movement is stopped. If movement goes undetected injury could result. Sonablate does not have this warning system and does not automatically cut off.


Hands on Physician Control

HIFU is indicated for patients with organ confined prostate cancer. This procedure may be used as a first choice for localized cancer (T1 and T2).

Patients who are not candidates for prostatectomy (because of their age, general health or an associated disease) can undergo HIFU treatment.

It is also an effective non-invasive treatment alternative to surgery or radiation.

HIFU ultrasound treatment is an appropriate treatment for patients with recurrent localized cancer after radical prostatectomy or patients with recurrent carcinoma after brachytherapy.

Treatment Time:

Time is of the essence. HIFU, with the Ablatherm® technology takes, on average, between 2 and 2 ½ hours. That is considerably less than the time it takes to treat with the Sonablate 500.

How many treatments will I require?

Approximately 90% of patients require only one treatment with Ablatherm HIFU. One advantage of this treatment modality is, it may be repeated if necessary as in the case when:

  • * the PSA remains high after one treatment
  • * biopsy results indicate remaining prostate cancer
  • * a nerve sparing procedure is done, it is possible all cancer may not have been eliminated so the re-treatment rate is increased


Treatment Follow Up

The PSA levels are performed every three months for two years, then every 6 months for two years and then annually after that.