HIFU: Who Are the Best Candidates?


CLEVELAND, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire)— One-hundred-ninety-two-thousand men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone, and an estimated 33,000  will die from the disease. Doctors have traditionally treated prostate cancer patients with surgery or radiation, but now, oncologists can offer a new technology to some, HIFU.

Jeff Cardinal made a point to stay in shape as he hit middle age, but three years ago the results of his yearly physical were alarming.

“Blood work showed that my PSA numbers were a little high,” Cardinal told Ivanhoe.

A biopsy confirmed Jeff had prostate cancer. At first, doctors monitored the cancer, which was slow growing while jeff considered his options.

Cardinal shared, “At the time they had an option to cut into my abdomen and remove my entire prostate. Then they also had what they think they called radiation pellets that they would embed in your prostate.”

In the meantime, Jeff learned about a newer technology called high intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU. The ultrasound waves cause the cancerous tissue to die. They’re delivered by a probe during a procedure that takes about 90 minutes. The FDA approved HIFU for prostate cancer six years ago, but doctors say recent research has helped them identify the best candidates, patients with a moderate risk of having the cancer spread and who have one or two lesions on the same side.

“If we can see them on the MRI, that’s even better because then we kind of know where we need to treat and we can make that treatment more focal,” Christopher Weight, MD, an urologic oncologist at the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic, shared.

(Read Full Interview)

Jeff had HIFU earlier this year. There were very few side effects.

“I don’t wake up in the middle of the night having to go to the bathroom five times. I don’t have to wear a urine bag. I don’t wear a diaper and my hardware works fine,” Cardinal noted.

Helping men beat cancer and live their best life.

Although the HIFU treatment is just given one time, doctors test a patient’s PSA level again in six months to ensure the treatment is working to kill off the cancer cells. In addition, follow-up includes a scan and potentially another biopsy to make sure there is no recurrence.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4952

BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is somewhat unusual when compared with other types of cancer. This is because many prostate tumors do not spread quickly to other parts of the body. Some prostate cancers grow very slowly and may not cause symptoms or problems for years or ever. Even when prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it often can be managed for a long time. People with prostate cancer, and even those with advanced prostate cancer, may live with good health and quality of life for many years. However, if the cancer cannot be well controlled with existing treatments, it can cause symptoms like pain and fatigue and can sometimes lead to death. An important part of managing prostate cancer is monitoring it for growth over time, to find out if it is growing slowly or quickly.

(Source: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/introduction)

DIAGNOSING: Testing healthy men with no symptoms for prostate cancer is controversial. There is some disagreement among medical organizations whether the benefits of testing outweigh the potential risks. Most medical organizations encourage men in their 50s to discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with their doctors. If prostate cancer screening detects an abnormality, your doctor may recommend further tests to determine whether you have prostate cancer. During a transrectal ultrasound, a small probe, about the size and shape of a cigar, is inserted into the rectum. The probe uses sound waves to create a picture of the prostate gland. In some situations, your doctor may recommend an MRI scan of the prostate to create a more detailed picture.

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353093)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Prostate cancer treatment is on the brink of a major advance, thanks to new imaging technology that can pinpoint the location of prostate cancer cells. This new diagnostic tool allows doctors to see whether the cancer cells are still in the prostate or have spread elsewhere — crucial information for determining the best treatment for patients. This form of imaging uses a radiotracer, a radioactive targeting molecule that selectively seeks out and attaches to a protein on the surface of cancer cells. That protein, called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), is not found on most normal cells. When the radiotracer binds to the prostate cancer cells, they can be detected using a PET scanner. On the PET scan, the cancer cells appear as bright spots.

(Source: https://www.mskcc.org/news/new-technology-pinpoints-prostate-cancer-will-transform-care)




If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Christopher Weight, MD, Urologic Oncologist, Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute

Read the entire Q&A