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High Intensity Focus Ultrasound HIFU
  High Intensity Focus Ultrasound, or HIFU, is a treatment for prostate cancer.

Collaboration between the INSERM, l'Hospital Edouard Herriot in Lyons and EDAP TMS
lead to the development of Ablatherm HIFU, the device that administers the treatment.
It is licensed in the EU and several further countries. As of February 2009 some 17.000 treatments have been performed. As of June 2009 this figure is up to 19923 and has reached 20.516 in August.

How does it work?

3MHz high intensity ultrasound waves are focused through the rectal wall to the targeted prostate area. This destroys the cancerous tissue by applying controlled heat. Therapeutic ultrasound does not produce any radiation and disappears as soon as the treatment is finished.

Before using Ablatherm HIFU, a high performance integrated 3D imaging system locates and analyses the prostate. Unlike traditional techniques, Ablatherm HIFU is accurate down to the millimetre, which means there is less risk of destroying the neighbouring healthy tissue. A focal point is relatively small (2 x 20 mm) so several are targeted in order to treat the entire prostate. This means there is a higher probability that the tumour will be destroyed.

The first phase of the treatment involves an ultrasound scan of the prostate. The computerized system will then recreate the prostate in 3 dimensions to enable the surgeon to plan the treatment on the screen and to program the robot to define the area to be treated. Once the treatment has been planned the shooting phase can begin.

The robotic probe will then carry out the surgeon's instructions automatically and extremely precisely (orders are accurate to a few millimetres). Every 10 seconds the probe generates a high intensity focused ultrasound beam which is used to destroy a very small part of the prostate with intense, very fast, highly localised heat. This phenomenon generates almost no pain for the patient after treatment. This elementary lesion will be followed by a number of adjacent lesions, several hundred in fact, which gradually, one after the other, enable the entire prostate to be treated. The treatment lasts between 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the volume of the prostate

Unlike radiotherapy, the results of which are only known two years after treatment, Ablatherm HIFU enables patients to get a clearer idea of their situation soon after being treated. A few weeks after treatment, laboratory tests or a biopsy would be carried out to provide an initial indication of the effectiveness of treatment. This way, patients can consider a second course of treatment if the first session did not provide the desired results. In approximately 80% of cases, one treatment is enough.

This is a major advantage over other techniques which, if they fail, leave the patient at a therapeutic impasse because follow-up treatment is very difficult, if not impossible. In addition, Ablatherm HIFU provides non-invasive treatment, which requires only a short period of hospitalisation and allows patients to return to their everyday lives shortly thereafter.

Today, in certain cases, Ablatherm HIFU may offer a second therapeutic option if, for example, radiotherapy has failed. Ablatherm is certified for use in salvage therapy for patients experiencing recurrence and failure of a prior radiotherapy treatment.
It has specific settings for this situation.


The infoholix Treatment Fund (iTF) funds
prostate cancer treatments for those who
cannot obtain it through their national health
systems. Your donation is appreciated.








Please visit "Prostate Cancer therapies" on the right hand menu.

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Wilfrid Hartnagel






worldwide 1.

e-mail
France 2. HIFU information for patients. Site by EDAP-TMS, the manufacturer of Ablatherm HIFU.

Check out the videos of patients interviewed before, DURING and after treatment.

Note: one patient had no PSA but a big cancer tumor.

website e-mail
United States 3.

website e-mail
India 4. Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital in Nadiad, Gujarat, the first hospital in India to provide Ablatherm HIFU.

website e-mail
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