Ochsner Health is excited to announce that we now offer an innovative new treatment for prostate cancer at the Center for Urologic Oncology in the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center.
Men with localized prostate cancer have had these options: active surveillance for low-risk tumors (frequent blood tests to monitor prostate-specific antigen levels, which can indicate the presence of cancer, and intermittent prostate biopsies) to radical therapy with surgery or radiation for patients with intermediate or high-risk tumors. Patients now have a new option: Focal One HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound), which fills an important niche between the other available options.
What is HIFU and how does it work?
To treat localized prostate cancer, the Focal One HIFU device uses high-frequency sound waves precisely directed at the cancerous tissue through an ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum. No incisions are made. The high-intensity sound waves heat up and destroy the targeted cancer tissue, causing cell death.
With HIFU, the urologist is able to focus and destroy the cancerous tissue without damaging other surrounding structures, which include nerves, blood vessels and muscle tissue. This reduces the risks of long-term erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
What does the new Focal One Robotic HIFU system make possible?
Before development of the Focal One Robotic system, HIFU destroyed cancerous tissue throughout the entire prostate, or half of the prostate (called hemiablation), or part of one side (called unilateral partial ablation). With Focal One Robotic HIFU, high-resolution images from MRI or ultrasound fused with biopsy results and real-time ultrasound imaging let the urologist easily view and then draw precise contours around the cancerous tissue. The doctor directs the sound waves to heat up and destroy only the diseased tissue, thereby minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.
Focal One Robotic HIFU gives urologists the ability to use focal therapy to destroy only the diseased portion of the prostate. This is similar to performing a lumpectomy to remove only the diseased tissue of the breast in a patient with breast cancer. And focal therapy still leaves the options of radical surgery or radiation therapy if the cancer returns.
Who qualifies for HIFU?
Ideal candidates for HIFU are those who have early stage, low-grade cancer that is confined to the prostate and that is visible on an MRI or ultrasound. HIFU is used to treat a single tumor or part of a large tumor and is not meant for those whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate. If you are interested in HIFU, please contact our team at 504-842-4083.
Learn more about this new prostate cancer procedure by calling 504-842-4083.