High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a non invasive treatment and can be used as a therapeutic option.
The treatment appears to have a low complication rate and, unlike some other minimally invasive treatments, other options are still open after HIFU therapy if needed.
In prostate cancer the treatment is recommended for patients with localized cancer (stage T1-T2) who are not candidates for a prostatectomy (because of their age, other long term conditions or want an alternative to radical surgery).
Additionally, this treatment can be used for patients who have local recurrence after external radiotherapy.
The treatment is performed by placing a probe in the rectum under general or spinal anesthesia. The probe emits a beam of high intensity focused ultrasound.
At the point where the ultrasound is directed there is a sudden and intense absorption of the ultrasound beam which creates a sudden temperature increase; which destroys the cells in the targeted zone.