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Dr. Michael Lazar

Santa Rosa Urologist Dr. Michael Lazar is Making History with a Nonsurgical, Outpatient Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU.

Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) waves target cancer cells with precision in a one-to-four-hour procedure that has little or no side affects and a quick recovery rate, giving those diagnosed with prostate cancer another choice over surgery or radiation.

HIFU has been used in other countries for years, and Dr. Lazar has been instrumental in bringing this innovative treatment to the United States. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last October, and he has since been performing the procedure at San Francisco Surgery Center for patients who travel from across the country to receive this leading edge treatment.

“The oncological results for HIFU are broadly comparable to radical surgery or radiation but the side effects are less,” says Dr. Lazar. “If the HIFU procedure is performed in the morning, a patient is typically up and around by dinnertime and can often return to normal activity within a few days without the use of pain-killers.”

Dr. Lazar has recently become involved with HIFU Prostate Services, LLC as their Medical Director.  HIFU Prostate Services is the first company to establish centers in the United States offering Sonablate HIFU technology. HIFU Prostate Services makes the non-invasive treatment option available through partnerships with some of the largest urology practices and experienced physicians that establish Sonablate HIFU Centers of Excellence.  Urologists are able to create their own HIFU program and offer treatment within their region. These centers also offer training and proctorship opportunities.

Along with serving as the Medical Director of HIFU Prostate Services, LLC. Dr. Lazar is also a clinical partner with his HIFU Center of Excellence at the state-of-the-art SFSC in downtown San Francisco. Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU. He has worked tirelessly with SonaCare, the manufacturer of the instruments, to bring this innovative service for prostate cancer treatment to patients in the United States.

The HIFU technique is also being developed to treat many other types of cancer including breast, uterine, liver, kidney, and brain.

For those with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective for patients with early stage cancer, where it is localized to the prostate. It is performed on an out-patient basis that takes one to four hours. A urinary catheter is placed after the procedure for one to three weeks.

While some patients might experience slight irritation, “some patients can have a catheter and they don’t even know it.”

The procedure preserves healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases, as compared to radical surgery or radiation.

Another advantage is recovery time. With surgery or radiation treatment, recuperation time for patients is six to eight weeks, whereas HIFU patients return to normal activities within days.

Dr-michael-lazarDr. Lazar has been treating U.S. prostate cancer patients in Mexico since 2007, where he performed hundreds of outpatient procedures at a U.S. Joint Commission approved bilingual hospital. There, he also served as a HIFU instructor for other physicians and is now training doctors in San Francisco.

Because the treatment is so new, it will take another couple of years before it will be routinely covered by insurance. Those with non-Medicare insurance may get reimbursed to varying degrees.

“What will really make this explode is when the insurance companies are routinely covering the procedure and it will become widely available to all patients. The costs for this procedure are drastically less than for radical surgical and radiation procedures, and with fewer complications so insurance companies will be incentivized to cover it,” Dr. Lazar commented.

As soon as more doctors are trained to perform the procedure in San Francisco, Dr. Lazar plans to bring the treatment to his Santa Rosa office.

“I expect as word gets out there will be a progressive demand for this procedure, so training physicians will be a high priority. It’s already expanding rapidly and we put in an order for our tenth machine,” said Dr. Lazar, adding he won’t be giving up his general urology practice any time soon. “This is what I love to do.”

 

 

 

HIFU San Francisco – Meet Dr. Michael Lazar

HIFU 4.12 pic 1.2Michael J. Lazar, MD was an early user of the HIFU technology dating back to 2007.  He was credentialed as proctor in 2010 and participated in editing the user manual for the Sonablate HIFU system. Lazar trained FDA investigators on HIFU patient care and was commissioned by SonaCare Medical to proctor FDA clinical trial cases.  He has treated or been involved with over 200 patients and is also site director for SonaCare Medical’s international training site in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Dr. Lazar has been certified by the American Board of Urology four times and has practiced in Santa Rosa, Calif. since 1983.  He is chairman of the Board of Redwood Health Services, Inc. providing insurance products for employee groups. Dr. Lazar is also CEO and managing director of Santa Rosa Surgical Management Company, LLC that manages the ambulatory surgery center at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  He has participated in medical staff leadership and has served as hospital chief-of-staff and well as departmental and section chairs.  Dr. Lazar received his urology training at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, La. and is a graduate of University of Arkansas Medical School.

California HIFU

Dr. Lazar formed California HIFU in order to offer minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment to men with the Sonablate. He performs HIFU at HIFU Center of Excellence In San Francisco, 450 Sutter Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94108

HIFU Center of Excellence offers patients a state-of-the-art facility in downtown that is convenient to hotels and the airport for patients interested in traveling from around the country for this recently FDA-cleared treatment. For more information about HIFU treatment which is now available in San Francisco, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more at: www.californiahifu.com

See more on the HIFU Prostate Services website.

By | April 12th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News|0 Comments

HIFU Center of Excellence in San Francisco

HIFU 4.12 pic 1Sonablate HIFU is available now with Dr. Michael Lazar at HIFU Center of Excellence In San Francisco located in downtown San Francisco, 450 Sutter Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94108

HIFU Center of Excellence offers patients a state-of-the-art facility in downtown that is convenient to hotels and the airport for patients interested in traveling from around the country for this recently FDA-cleared treatment. For more information about HIFU treatment which is now available in San Francisco, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more at: www.californiahifu.com

HIFU 4.12 pic 1.2Physician Practicing HIFU in San Francisco: Dr. Michael Lazar

See more on the HIFU Prostate Services Website.

By | April 12th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News|0 Comments

HIFU Prostate Services Expands Management Team with Chief Operating Officer

John McLean brings significant amount of experience in HIFU, operations, marketing and medical imaging.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. March 9, 2016. HIFU Prostate Services, LLC, a leading provider of minimally invasive prostate cancer treatments using high intensity focused ultrasound (“HIFU”), is pleased to announce the addition of John McLean as chief operating officer. McLean brings 17 years of experience in healthcare marketing and management to HIFU Prostate Services and will be responsible for managing treatment teams, training programs and marketing initiatives.

Prior to joining HIFU Prostate Services, McLean spent eight years at SonaCare Medical where he was involved in approximately 600 HIFU cases. While at SonaCare Medical, McLean served as product manager, business manager and service engineer; he brings experience in all areas of running a successful HIFU business.

“After working with John McLean at SonaCare Medical for eight years, it was clear that HIFU Prostate Services could benefit significantly from his experience as we continue to partner with leading urologists and place HIFU systems in the U.S. market.  He will be instrumental in our continued growth and expansion,” said John W. Linn, chief executive officer of HIFU Prostate Services.

“After leaving SonaCare Medical in January, I knew I wanted to continue to work with HIFU technology and help make it more accessible for patients looking for a minimally invasive treatment option. I interviewed several different HIFU companies that are offering treatment as I searched for the one that excelled most in quality of patient care, physician development and advancement of the HIFU technology. It was clear that HIFU Prostate Services has the superior national platform with an experienced HIFU staff and physician network focused on excellent patient care and physician training,” said McLean.

Previously, McLean spent more than nine years in various leadership roles in healthcare ranging from medical imaging companies, healthcare service companies and the U.S. Army; these experiences give him a unique insight into the healthcare industry. McLean has set up and run healthcare support in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and combat-support hospitals.

HIFU Prostate Services was the first company to offer treatment using Sonablate HIFU technology in November 2015. The company rapidly expanded operations into four centers that will treat nearly 30 patients in March and three additional centers are planned to open this spring.

“We are thrilled to have John on board; his role will focus on the continued growth of the company’s existing treatment centers and support expansion as the company adds six additional treatment locations in the coming months,” said John Harris, chairman of HIFU Prostate Services.

About HIFU Prostate Services, LLC

HIFU Prostate Services (HPS) is the nation’s leading provider of minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment using high intensity focused ultrasound. HPS was founded to provide men access to a less invasive treatment option for prostate cancer that has the ability to eliminate cancer and preserve patient quality of life. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality of care, support, and technology to the patient and to the urology community for the treatment of localized prostate cancer using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) with the Sonablate. HPS was founded in 2015 by a seasoned management team with over 50 years of experience in the healthcare industry and over 30 years focused on HIFU technologies.

HPS has the most experienced HIFU staff in the country with over 60 years of combined HIFU experience. HPS nurses and technicians have been involved in over 3,000 HIFU procedures. The HPS network includes 100 physicians across the U.S., and our physician proctors have experience with over 1,200 HIFU procedures. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and has established partnerships with physicians and urology practices throughout the country.

For more information about HIFU or to make an appointment call (707) 546-5553. Find us online at: www.californiahifu.com.

 

By | March 29th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News|0 Comments

Prostate cancer targeted with ultrasound ‘could transform treatment’

man-at-lake-1374960The study – on the effectiveness of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat men with localized prostate cancer – featured at the European Association of Urology Congress (EAU16) in Munich, Germany, March 11-15, 2016.

Led by University College Hospital (UCH) in London, UK, the study followed 625 men between 2004-2015, who were treated in the UK and who had localized, non-metastatic tumors; the tumors were in one part of the prostate and had not spread beyond the gland.

Hashim Ahmed, a consultant urological surgeon at UCH, told the meeting that 93% of patients who underwent HIFU alone to remove their prostate tumor were still cancer-free and did not need any surgery or radiotherapy 5 years after treatment. The results follow those of an earlier study by Ahmed and colleagues published in The Lancet Oncology in 2012, where, of 41 men who underwent HIFU, 95% were free of cancer after 12 months. Not one of the patients developed incontinence, and only 1 in 10 suffered erectile dysfunction.

In the new, larger study, which reports medium-term results, only 1-2% of the HIFU patients experienced long-term incontinence, and just 15% suffered erectile dysfunction. These figures compare favorably with men who have surgery, where around 30-60% experience these distressing side effects. Read the full story …

By | March 29th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

HIFU: Taking the UK By Storm

A treatment that uses sound waves to blast away prostate tumors has been proven to cure as many men of the disease as that of the surgery that removes the gland – while causing significantly fewer side effects. Until now the new procedure, called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), has been considered experimental.

This has meant that the majority of British men diagnosed with the condition – including former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman – have only been offered the more invasive operation called radical prostatectomy, which has a clear track record despite the risk of impotence and incontinence.

HIFU is a treatment that uses sound waves to blast away prostate tumours has been proven to cure as many men of the disease as surgery that removes the gland – while causing significantly fewer side effects. A landmark study announced at the European Association of Urology annual meeting in Munich revealed that focal HIFU, which targets only the tumour while preserving the healthy prostate tissue around it, offers a 93 per cent recurrence-free survival rate at five years, putting it on a par with prostatectomy.

Best-selling Author John Grisham Turns HIFU Advocate

John Grisham Turns Promoter for Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

Takes a break from legal thrillers to tout HIFU’s benefits

Best-selling author John Grisham has a side job.

When the legal thriller writer is taking a break from stories of tort reform and multi-million dollar trials, or of small town justice gone awry and blackmailed jurors — or any of the other legal topics he’s covered in the roughly one book a year he’s written since 1988 — he thinks about high-intensity focused ultrasound.

Or rather, he’s busy raising money and awareness for the technology as part of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, where he sits on the board. He “still doesn’t understand the technology” behind focused ultrasound, he said in a recent TEDx Talk in Charlottesville, Va., but nevertheless advocates for it because he’s found “no other cause, issue, non-profit, or charity that can potentially save so many lives.”

Grisham’s latest effort to get more eyes on, and more money for, the foundation is The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller, a 67-page book that tells the story of a man with glioblastoma. It includes diagrams of the procedure and pictures of an actual glioblastoma, and it’s available for free as an Amazon Single, where it was sitting at #16 on the most popular free Kindle Single list at the time of writing.

Read the full story here …

By | March 1st, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Study Supports Hemiablation HIFU for Prostate Cancer

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) hemiablation offers mid-term promising functional and oncologic outcomes in carefully selected patients with clinically localized prostate cancer (PCa), according to researchers.

In a prospective cohort study of 50 patients who underwent HIFU ablation of a single lobe of the prostate, the 5-year actuarial metastases-free survival, cancer-specific survival, and overall survival rates were 93%, 100%, and 87%, respectively, Roland van Velthoven, MD, and colleagues at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, Belgium, reported in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2016;19:79-83).

The researchers documented complete continence (no pads) and erections sufficient for intercourse in 94% and 80% of patients, respectively.

“Our study suggests that hemiablation HIFU is a valid mini-invasive focal therapy strategy, feasible in day-to-day practice with satisfactory functional outcomes,” the investigators concluded.

The study included patients with localized PCa, a life expectancy of at least 5 years, and a prostate volume less than 40 cm3. The researchers used both multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI-targeted biopsy to localize the tumor.

The cohort had a median follow-up of 39.5 months. The patients had a mean nadir PSA value of 1.6 ng/mL, a 72% reduction compared with initial PSA pre-treatment values. The median time to achieve PSA nadir was 3 months. Biochemical recurrence, according to the Phoenix definition (PSA nadir plus 2 ng/mL) and Stuttgart definition (nadir plus 1.2 ng/mL), occurred in 28% and 36% of patients, respectively.

The 5-year actuarial recurrence-free survival rates for patients with low- and intermediate-risk disease were 75% and 36%, respectively, according to the Phoenix definition and 58% and 27%, respectively, according to the Stuttgart definition.

Three patients showed a residual tumor in the treated lobe, and these were correctly treated with salvage radiation therapy.

The Press Democrat: Santa Rosa doctor one of few using new treatment for prostate cancer

Lazar is part of a vanguard of urologists who are treating prostate cancer with a newly approved procedure in the United States that uses ultrasound to zap cancerous tissue. The procedure, known as high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, is used in more than 30 countries around the world. Until this fall, it had not been cleared for use in the United States.

Lazar, who has traveled to Mexico six to eight times a year since 2007 to treat American men diagnosed with prostate cancer, is now one of a handful of doctors expanding use of the procedure in treatment centers in the United States.

“There’s been one case done in Louisville, one case done in San Francisco by me, and that’s it in the United States at this point, because it just got approved to where we can be sold the machines, get the machines set up and get the centers going,” Lazar said this week as he sat in his small Sonoma Avenue office.

Lazar, who has practiced in Santa Rosa since 1983, has been conducting the procedure using the Sonablate, a HIFU device manufactured by SonaCare Medical. The device is the first to win approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and since then a similar device made by a French competitor has also been cleared by the FDA.

Lazar said treating prostate cancer with HIFU has a number of advantages over radiation and surgery, including reducing the possibility of side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Read the full article at The Press Democrat …

First Prostate Cancer Patient Treated with Minimally Invasive HIFU on West Coast

Dr. Michael Lazar performing first HIFU surgery on the West Coast at San Francisco Surgery Center

Dr. Michael Lazar performing first HIFU surgery on the West Coast at San Francisco Surgery Center

November 18, 2015. San Francisco, CA – HIFU Prostate Services, LLC, a leading provider of minimally- invasive prostate cancer treatment, using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), announced that physician partner and Medical Director, Michael J. Lazar, MD treated the first prostate cancer patient in California with minimally invasive HIFU on November 18, in San Francisco at the San Francisco Surgery Center (SFSC). This will be the second patient ever treated in the country using Sonablate HIFU technology.

HIFU Prostate Services has partnered with Lazar and SFSC to establish a HIFU Center of Excellence where patients can receive the recently FDA-cleared Sonablate HIFU treatment. SFSC is located in downtown San Francisco, near Union Square, which offers patients a state-of-the-art facility in downtown that is convenient to hotels and the airport for men who will be traveling from around the country for this non-invasive treatment.

Lazar, who also serves as Medical Director of HIFU Prostate Services, has been working with HIFU since 2007, and was one of three physicians who proctored cases during clinical trials. Lazar will offer HIFU treatment to qualified patients and also provide medical guidance and serve as a proctor to physicians that are being trained on the Sonablate® HIFU system in San Francisco and surgery centers around the country.

Kevin Wienke, Administrator of the San Francisco Surgery Center states, “The Center is proud to be able to receive one of the first Sonablate® HIFU Systems in the country and to partner with Dr. Lazar and HIFU Prostate Services to offer our patients a viable option for prostate cancer.”

John W. Linn, chief executive officer of HIFU Prostate Services said, “The Sonablate® is the first device to receive regulatory authorization from the FDA for the ablation of prostate tissue. HIFU has been available in other countries for more than 10 years, but we are proud to be the first to make this game-changing technology available in the United States”.

Since 2004, approximately 4,000 U.S. men have been treated outside the U.S. where this technology is approved in over 30 countries. HIFU offers an effective treatment for localized prostate cancer with significantly less risk of common side effects, such as impotence and incontinence, which are typically reported with surgery and radiation.

Ken Hicks, a patient of Dr. Lazar’s who received HIFU treatment in 2007 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico says, “Finally men in the U.S. can receive this innovative, minimally invasive therapy for their prostate cancers without traveling internationally. I still can’t believe I was eating dinner on the beach just hours after my HIFU procedure and I am doing great after 7 years. I highly recommend Dr. Lazar and HIFU to anyone who is eligible for this incredible procedure.”

About Dr. Michael Lazar

Lazar HIFU

A great medical partnership begins in San Francisco. Kevin Wienke (L), Administrator SF-SC and Dr. Michael Lazar (R), Director of HIFU Prostate Services.

Dr. Lazar is currently the Medical Director of HIFU Prostate Services (HPS) and clinical partner with HPS and SFSC with the HIFU program. He has been certified by the American Board of Urology four times and has practiced in Santa Rosa, Calif. since 1983. He is chairman of the Board of Redwood Health Services, Inc. providing insurance products for employee groups. Lazar is also CEO and managing director of Santa Rosa Surgical Management Company, LLC that manages the ambulatory surgery center at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Lazar received his urology training at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, La. and is a graduate of University of Arkansas Medical School.

For more information on Dr. Lazar, visit www.californiahifu.com

About HIFU Prostate Services, LLC

HIFU Prostate Services (HPS) was founded in 2015 to provide men access to a less invasive treatment option for prostate disease focused on preserving quality of life. The mission of HPS is to partner with physicians to deliver the highest quality of care, support and technology to the patient and to the urology community for the treatment of localized prostate cancer using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). HPS is lead by a seasoned management team with over 50 years of experience in the healthcare industry and over 30 years focused on HIFU technologies The company is headquartered in Charlotte, NC.

For additional information, visit www.hifuprostateservices.com.

By | November 18th, 2015|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News|0 Comments