Phone: (707) 546-5553
Email Us
1140 Sonoma Avenue 1-A
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

HIFU

It’s Men’s Health Month – Is prostate cancer prevention possible?

Urologist and prostate cancer specialist Dr. Michael Lazar talks about prevention and options for maintaining health after a cancer diagnosis.

Do these things: • Maintain a healthy weight • Get some exercise • Choose a healthy low-fat diet • Eat more fruits and veggies • Take Omega 3 supplements • Add selenium rich foods to the dietJune is Men’s Health Month and the focus is on prostate cancer. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S. and the third most common cause of cancer related death today; lung cancer remains in the number one spot. Currently it is estimated that one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Those at highest risk are men who have a family history of prostate cancer and black men, who are more than twice as likely to die from the disease as any other group.

Although experts will say that there’s no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, there are measures a man can take to increase the odds of staying healthy. “While there are no guarantees, when you follow the research it’s easy to conclude that there appear to be simple measures we can take to stack the odds in our favor,” explains Dr. Lazar. “As with most any health condition, prostate cancer may have less of a chance of occurring in men who proactively pursue an healthy lifestyle.”

Preventing Prostate Cancer

Literally dozens of studies are conducted every year on various cancer groups and increasingly those focusing on prostate cancer point to the same results. Men who want to stay healthy and avoid prostate cancer (as well as most other types of cancer) are more likely to achieve their goal if they:

Do these things:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get some exercise
  • Choose a healthy low-fat diet
  • Eat more fruits and veggies
  • Take Omega 3 supplements
  • Add selenium rich foods to the diet

Avoid these things:

  • Smoking
  • Animal fat
  • Dairy
  • Red and processed meats
  • Sugar

When Your Luck Runs Out

Even when a person adheres to a healthy lifestyle, things can still go wrong. But the good news with a prostate cancer diagnosis is that the vast majority of cancers tend to grow slowly, and therefore don’t cause obvious health problems. It all depends on the type of cancer that is found in the prostate; while many grow slower, some are more aggressive.

Seeking treatment at the right time is imperative for the best the outcome in some scenarios. Annual screenings for men (particularly those over 50) is one of the ways to have control over potential treatment options – as newer treatments need to be pursued at the earliest stages.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Options

There are a number of treatment options that can be effective under the right circumstances, and many of them have side effects that most men would prefer to avoid, whenever possible.

The last option on this list; HIFU – is perhaps one of the most exciting non-invasive prostate cancer treatment options available today – with few to zero side effects in most cases. The key to success is early detection, and swift treatment.

“HIFU may not be appropriate in every situation, but it is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate,” says Dr. Lazar.  About Dr. Lazar and California HIFU

Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. For more information about HIFU treatment, which is now available in the San Francisco area, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more.

 

 

 

By | June 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hal & Mary: Another Happy HIFU Story

Posted on HIFU Prostate Services 5/27/2017

If you ask Hal Plimpton, he will tell you that he is a semi-retired, international logistics consultant who has owned and operated his own business for many years.

If his wife, Mary, happens to hear him say he is “semi” retired, she will laugh and probably roll her eyes. “He was supposed to retire 15 years ago, but he’s still working,” said Mary.

However, one thing that Hal and Mary can agree on is that they made a good treatment decision several years ago when Hal was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I could tell that he felt really good about HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound). He had confidence in the technology that it was going to work. I was a little nervous about all the unknowns, but ultimately I knew that if he felt good about it he would have a good experience – so I felt good about it too, “ said Mary.

Hal may have ultimately been confident in HIFU, but it wasn’t a conclusion he came to without doing a lot of research first – and connecting with a lot of people.

Mary and Hal’s prostate cancer journey included ups and downs that finally led them to the right decision for Hal but their experience with diagnosis and research on treatments was extensive – and in some respects, disconcerting.

“I followed my PSA for many years with my family doctor but in February of 2011, he referred me to a urologist for a biopsy,” said Hal. The pathology report indicated that he had prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 7.

“The first urologist we saw outlined several traditional treatments including surgery and radiation; I felt really uncomfortable with what I heard about the potential side effects,” said Hal.

“We were given some brochures and told to read them and decide what we wanted to do,” Mary said. “At that point, we went into research mode

“We saw a handful of doctors and it was not pleasant, informative or reassuring,” said Mary. “The physicians were focused on conventional treatment options, and we felt like each of them was trying to sell us on a specific treatment that they were personally invested in. It was very disheartening.”

“We found one book that had a single page about HIFU. Hal is kind of an ‘early adopter,’ and he was intrigued. But a urologist we spoke with was dismissive.” Mary said.

Coincidentally, Mary and Hal talked to a neighbor who connected them to a friend who had had a successful HIFU procedure some 5 years previously in Canada. Hal was able to talk to him at length and felt a heightened interest in the technique.

Mary was also learning more about HIFU. Curious about this new-to-them technology which she knew was of interest to Hal. She Googled the topic, picked up the phone, and called a company called, USHIFU in North Carolina. She was connected to a nurse, Karen, who was teamed with Dr. Michael Lazar, the then-sole HIFU-trained urologist in northern California.

Karen was wonderful. Our conversation was educational, but more than that she was a sympathetic ear,” said Mary. “She sent me a packet of information and before long we had an appointment to see Dr. Lazar.”

Meeting with Dr. Lazar was very different than their experiences with the other doctors they had seen. “He was so open and empathetic. He answered all our questions and was just very informative,” said Hal.

“He was was not selling any one particular approach. It was a very different kind of appointment from others we’d had,” added Mary.

Hal had HIFU with Dr. Lazar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in June of 2011 (HIFU wasn’t available in the U.S. outside of a clinical trial until after October 2015). A couple of friends accompanied them to PV for moral support – and one ended up having HIFU himself a few months later, also with Dr. Lazar.

“I might have opted for something more conventional but I knew this is what HAL WANTED, and, to me, I felt that if he believed in it, that elevated the likelihood of a positive outcome,” said Mary. “I cannot imagine that we could have had a better experience – in all respects – and it worked for us.”

Hal is happy to report that after HIFU, his PSA dropped from 7 to 0.1 and has stayed stable ever since. Almost more importantly, he had no adverse side effects.

“We are believers in HIFU for sure,” said Hal. “HIFU may not be ‘the answer’ for every man, but for families researching their options, we would urge you to consider HIFU. – And we cannot say enough good things about Dr. Lazar.”

By | May 31st, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Focused ultrasound therapy is here: Are you ready?

A new, highly disruptive therapeutic technology called focused ultrasound is transforming – standards of care around the globe.

In this series, we asked speakers at the Milken Institute Global Conference to answer: How does one build a meaningful life in the age of technological disruption? Join the conversation by writing your own article here and including #MIGlobal.

A new, highly disruptive therapeutic technology called focused ultrasound is slowly but definitively influencing – and on the verge of transforming – standards of care around the globe. This game-changing, noninvasive treatment option for a wide variety of serious medical disorders has the potential to be an alternative or adjunct to surgery, radiation therapy, drug delivery, and cancer immunotherapy, while decreasing cost of care and improving outcomes for millions worldwide. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Focused ultrasound has been named one of the 50 greatest inventions by TIME magazine, credited with “changing medicine” by Fortune magazine, and just this month was named a top 10 clinical research achievement of 2016 by the Washington, DC-based Clinical Research Forum.

Innovation breeds innovation, but also, modification. Once fully developed and implemented – months to decades from now depending on the clinical indication – focused ultrasound will have widespread impact on healthcare constituents including physicians, treatment facilities, and manufacturers of legacy therapy equipment, among others. This process has in fact already begun. Focused ultrasound will also bring about major change to referral patterns, treatment paradigms, practice guidelines, and equipment acquisition as the technology transitions to a mainstream therapy.

In order to benefit from these changes, stakeholders – perhaps your organization or yourself – must be prepared to enter the field early on. And for many, “early on” means now.

What is focused ultrasound?

Focused ultrasound, or FUS, uses ultrasonic energy to target tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. With more than 22 regulatory approvals around the world to date, including five by the US Food and Drug Administration and more than 50 additional clinical indications in various (mostly early) stages of development, FUS may treat a disparate range of diseases including: Parkinson’s; Alzheimer’s; depression; obsessive-compulsive disorder; arthritis; back pain; and, tumors of the brain, breast, prostate, liver and pancreas. It has the potential to be as revolutionary to therapy as magnetic resonance scanning (MRI) has been to diagnosis.

The basic principle is analogous to using a magnifying glass to focus beams of sunlight on a single point to burn a hole in a leaf. With focused ultrasound, multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound energy are concentrated on a target deep in the body with extreme precision and accuracy (sparing adjacent normal tissue). Where each individual beam passes through the body there is no effect. But at the focal point where the beams converge, the focused ultrasound energy induces a variety of biologic effects including: destroying tissue, stimulating the body’s immune response, and enhancing the delivery of drugs. The location of the focal point and the treatment effect is guided and controlled in real time by ultrasound or MR imaging.

Besides patients, who will focused ultrasound affect?

Three healthcare industry groups will be particularly impacted by the widespread adoption of FUS. First, consider the manufacturers of legacy therapy equipment (e.g., linear accelerators for radiation therapy and robotic surgical devices) to which focused ultrasound is an existential threat. These manufacturers would be wise to begin redistributing resources from their traditional product lines now to invest in new FUS technology. Such companies are in fact well-positioned to do so as they already have the functioning sales, marketing, support and distribution channels in place. It is clear that once the medical community broadly understands the capabilities of focused ultrasound, many legacy therapy equipment options will quickly become obsolete.

Physicians will also benefit from entering the FUS field sooner rather than later. In the current environment, many physicians – not all – can unfortunately be motivated by money, time and outcome, in that order. As focused ultrasound advances, they will need to become educated and trained in utilizing FUS technology, and adopt it as part of their practice, even in cases where the economics on a per procedure basis are less favorable than current therapy alternatives. If they choose not to, patients seeking FUS – and demand is growing – will simply find a physician who will. Of note: focused ultrasound centers worldwide are reporting a backlog of several hundred essential tremor patients desiring FUS, and a nationwide study of nearly 1,000 US uterine fibroid sufferers (published in the October 2013 issues of both the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of Women’s Health) found that when presented with fibroid treatment descriptions, the majority surveyed (60%) rated focused ultrasound as their top treatment choice.

Finally, now is also the time for hospitals and clinics to consider becoming early adopters of focused ultrasound. Doing so will enhance their reputation as being on the leading edge of medical care, and will provide a competitive differential over institutions that have not yet acquired FUS technology (see above regarding patient demand and preference). Additionally, offering focused ultrasound will create a halo effect for the hospital or clinic when patients are referred for this cutting-edge treatment and found to not be a candidate; these patients will often choose to stay with the practice and receive an alternative treatment, increasing market share for the institution.

The future is now

We are all aware that medical device development and adoption occurs exponentially; with focused ultrasound we are right now at the beginning of the inflection point of the curve. Our goal is to treat hundreds of thousands of patients annually and we are well on our way, with 15,000 FUS treatments performed worldwide in 2014, approximately 25,000 treatments in 2015, and a more than double increase to 50,000-plus patients treated in 2016. In other words, focused ultrasound is about to evolve into a robust medical field, with the pace of research and development, publications, patient treatments and the number of device manufacturers all increasing rapidly in the past few years.

Still, there remains an enormous amount of work to be done, and many barriers to overcome, before the technology becomes a standard of care that can help millions of patients. But we are closer than ever. When the potential of focused ultrasound is realized and it becomes a mainstream therapy, it will result in changes that will benefit countless patients and impact physicians, payers/providers, manufacturers, hospitals/clinics, caretakers, etc., around the globe. It’s coming. It is reinventing care. Are you ready?

Find out more at www.fusfoundation.org

About the Author: Neal F. Kassell, M.D., is the founder and chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He was a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia from 1984 until 2016 and was the Co-Chairman of the department until 2006. He received both his undergraduate and medical education at the University of Pennsylvania. In April 2016, Dr. Kassell was appointed by Vice President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Institute’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Dr. Kassell has contributed more than 500 publications and book chapters to the literature and is a member of numerous medical societies in the United States and abroad.

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is a medical research, education, and advocacy organization created as the catalyst to accelerate the development and adoption of FUS, shortening the time from laboratory research to widespread patient treatment. 

By | May 4th, 2017|HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Prostate Cancer News: Emotional distress may lead to more aggressive treatment

The anxiety many men experience after being diagnosed with prostate cancer may lead them to choose potentially unnecessary treatment options, researchers from the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute report in a new study.

“Emotional distress may motivate men with low-risk prostate cancer to choose more aggressive treatment, such as choosing surgery over active surveillance,” said UB’s Heather Orom, the lead author on the study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

“It underscores what we have been pushing a long time for, which is, ‘Let’s make this decision as informed and supported as possible.’ If distress early on is influencing treatment choice, then maybe we help men by providing clearer information about prognosis and strategies for dealing with anxiety. We hope this will help improve the treatment decision making process and ultimately, the patient’s quality of life,” added Orom, PhD, associate professor of community health and health behavior in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.

The study involved 1,531 men with newly diagnosed, clinically localized prostate cancer, meaning the disease hadn’t spread to other parts of the body.

Researchers measured participants’ emotional distress with the Distress Thermometer, an 11-point scale ranging from 0 (no distress) to 10 (extreme distress). The men were assessed after diagnosis and again as soon as they had made their treatment decision.

The majority of study participants had either low- or intermediate-risk disease, and were more likely to have been treated with surgery, followed by radiation and active surveillance.

“Men’s level of emotional distress shortly after diagnosis predicted greater likelihood of choosing surgery over active surveillance,” the researchers report. “Importantly, this was true among men with low-risk disease, for whom active surveillance may be a clinically viable option and side effects of surgery might be avoided.”

While prostate cancer is a major disease in the U.S., it is not a death sentence, according to the American Cancer Society, which estimates there are nearly 3 million prostate cancer survivors alive today.

However, overtreatment is a concern, and surgery and radiation therapy have side effects that include erectile dysfunction and incontinence, which, for the majority of men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, can be avoided by instead choosing active surveillance to monitor the cancer and considering treatment if the disease progresses.

“There’s an interest in driving the decision-making experience to prevent overtreatment and ensure that men have full information about all the side effects so they can make a choice that’s preference and value driven,” Orom said. “We don’t want men to make a decision that they’ll regret later on.”

“The goal of most physicians treating men with prostate cancer is to help their patients and family members through a difficult process and help their patients receive appropriate treatment,” said Willie Underwood III, MD, MS, MPH, an associate professor in Roswell Park’s Department of Urology, and a paper co-author.

“To do so, it is helpful for physicians to better understand what is motivating men’s decisions and to address negative motivators such as emotional distress to prevent men from receiving a treatment that they don’t need or will later regret,” Underwood added.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Original written by David J. Hill. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heather Orom, Willie Underwood, Caitlin Biddle. Emotional Distress Increases the Likelihood of Undergoing Surgery among Men with Localized Prostate Cancer. The Journal of Urology, 2017; 197 (2): 350 DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.08.007

Read this article on ScienceDaily: University at Buffalo. “For men with prostate cancer, emotional distress may lead to more aggressive treatment.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170111103920.htm.
By | February 14th, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Prostate Cancer Rates Take a Nose Dive Per Latest Statistics

Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU, Urologist and Prostate Cancer expert reflects on the latest American Cancer Society statics

The results from the American Cancer Society’s newest report on cancer rates is good news for everyone and particularly good news for prostate cancer patients: incidents of cancer is down as is the likelihood of prostate cancer patients dying from the diagnosis.

According to the report the cancer death rate has dropped from its peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 161.2 in 2014 (per 100K population), the most recent year for which data was available to analyze. Overall the decline in cancer is linked with decreases in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. The four major cancer drops are:

  • lung (- 43% between 1990 and 2014 among males and -17% between 2002 and 2014 among females)
  • breast (-38% from 1989 to 2014)
  • prostate (-51% from 1993 to 2014)
  • colorectal (-51% from 1976 to 2014)

“This is really exciting news for anyone who specializes in prostate cancer,” says Michael Lazar, M.D. “And its particularly good news for our patients. When a man is diagnosed with cancer, whether it’s prostate cancer or some other cancer – the news is always difficult to accept. With the number of people being diagnosed with prostate cancer dropping steadily along with the expected death rates, patients are now more empowered to be optimistic about their treatment options.”

According to the American Cancer Society, the decline in new cancer rates for men can be attributed to the recent drop in prostate cancer diagnoses. This has to do with the fact that routine screening with the PSA blood test is no longer recommended out of concerns for over-diagnosis and treatment of positive results that are best left untreated. Therefore, fewer cases of prostate cancer are now being detected. But this does not need to lessen the importance of getting screened for prostate cancer when symptoms are apparent.

“Although this is really good news, men who are concerned about prostate cancer, and anyone in the high-risk group still needs to be to screened early and at regular intervals,” says Dr. Lazar. “Once cancer has advanced beyond the prostate gland, available treatment options become more radical.”

The highest risk groups for prostate cancer are men over the age of 50, African-American men, and men who have a father, brother or son who has had prostate cancer.

About Prostate Cancer

Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly, and don’t cause obvious health problems for men who have received a diagnosis. In certain situations, prostate cancer can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men. But one treatment that stands out among more invasive options for prostate cancer is High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and it is most effective for men who have been diagnose and are in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, this is one technology that requires vigilance at the early stages when HIFU would be most effective for prostate cancer eradication.

“For patients with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective in the early stages,” explains Dr. Lazar. “When the cancer is localized to the prostate treatment by HIFU is extremely effective. Unlike other treatments, this 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.”

The oncological results for HIFU is comparable to more traditional prostate cancer treatments including radical surgery or radiation. But the side effects for HIFU patients have proven to be much less debilitating than more radical procedures.

About Dr. Lazar

Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. Dr. Lazar formed California HIFU to offer minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment to men with the Sonablate.

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.

 

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

HIFU: Prostate Cancer Treatment Has 97% Survival Rate

A prostate cancer treatment which is rarely offered on the NHS may give patients a 97% chance of survival after five years, a landmark study has suggested. The so-called “male lumpectomy” treatment works by treating just the prostate cancer tumor with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU).

It is said to have “significantly fewer side effects” than traditional treatments and delivers high rates of cancer control. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the US and the third most common cause in Europe. While already cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HIFU treatment is only available in very few centres in the NHS.

For more information about HIFU available in the U.S., to make an appointment call (707) 546-5553 or visit our at: www.californiahifu.com

Read the full story …

By | March 24th, 2016|HIFU, News|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 …

Image Fusion Technology Combines MRI and Ultrasound Images to Treat Prostate Cancer

New Hardware and Software Increases Accuracy For Targeting Malignant Cells, Sparing Healthy Tissue

SonaCare Medical, LLC, the makers of innovative High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) medical devices for the treatment of prostate cancer, has announced the roll-out of its newest technology – called Sonafuse Profuse – introduced this summer at the treatment center in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The Sonablate®  technology currently in use at the San Javier Marina Hospital has been updated with powerful new hardware components and the latest generation “3G” software including image fusion. Puerto Vallarta is now one of only three international treatment sites in the Americas offering image fusion and the newest software offering the benefits of multi-mode imaging that sees the outside and inside of the targeted area at the same time.

“Until now, Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) had to be viewed separately from live HIFU images by doctors performing the procedure,” according to Dr. Michael Lazar, a leading urologist and pioneer of HIFU who has been treating prostate cancer patients in Puerto Vallarta since 2007. “Now using advanced software, both image sets are combined enabling us to gain an even clearer picture of cancer cells and their precise location so they can be more accurately, and individually, targeted using ultrasound energy.”

Sonafuse Profuse technology fuses a previously obtained magnetic resonance image (MRI) with live ultrasound during the HIFU procedure. This allows the visualization of regions of abnormality visible with MRI, but not normally visible with ultrasound during the procedure for targeted treatment. The fusion program is based on Artemis Profuse software from Eigen, one of three SonaCare Medical fusion partners that provide seamless integration with physicians’ targeted biopsy systems.

Dr. Lazar said there are many benefits associated with advanced HIFU therapy, including sound-based, tissue sparing, non-surgical intervention for the treatment of prostate cancer and more favorable outcomes for patients.

He said modern imaging technology is changing today’s urological cancer landscape, enabling doctors to increase their detection of genitourinary cancer as well as better tumor and cancer cell visualization, especially among smaller confined tumors. He said it is also helping physicians achieve better, targeted biopsies and helps in the diagnosis of prostate cancer among younger patients.

HIFU is also being used in conjunction with CT scans to detect small, incidentally discovered, kidney renal masses – as well as for mpMRI prostate scans to identify specific regions of interest for targeted biopsy and ablation therapy.

For more information contact Dr. Michael Lazar, visit the California HIFU website, or call (707) 546-5553. Dr. Lazar’s office is located at 1140 Sonoma Ave #1A, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.