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Urology. 2004 Feb;63(2):297-300.

High-intensity focused ultrasound for the treatment of localized prostate cancer: 5-year experience.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Regensburg, St. Josef Hospital, Regensburg, Germany.



To report on our 5-year results with transrectal high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in the treatment of localized prostate cancer. HIFU delivers high energy, causing rapid coagulation necrosis of tissue within the target area without damaging the surrounding tissue.


A total of 146 patients with biopsy-proven Stage T1-T2N0M0 prostate cancer have been treated using the Ablatherm device. All patients had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of 15 ng/mL or less and a Gleason score of 7 or less (inclusion criteria). The mean follow-up was 22.5 months (range 4 to 62) and included PSA measurement and control sextant biopsies.


The median PSA nadir 3 months after treatment was 0.07 ng/mL (range 0 to 5.67). The median PSA level after a follow-up of 22 months was 0.15 ng/mL (range 0 to 12.11), and 87% of the patients had a constant PSA level of less than 1 ng/mL; 93.4% of all patients had negative control biopsies. One rectourethral fistula was noted after a second HIFU treatment in a patient with a history of hemicolectomy and repetitive anal fistulas. Of all the patients, 12% underwent transurethral resection after HIFU because of obstruction, but no severe stress incontinence (grade 2 to 3) was observed. Erectile function was preserved in 47.3% of patients, and the International Prostate Symptom Score and Quality of Life Index did not change from before to after treatment.


Our results demonstrated the efficacy and low-associated morbidity of HIFU. HIFU does not exclude other treatment options and is repeatable. HIFU seems to be a valid alternative treatment for patients who are not suitable for radical surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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