Urologic oncologists at Morristown Medical Center were the first in the state of New Jersey to use a specialized, minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment option. Focal therapy, which involves high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can ablate cancerous lesions while leaving the prostate gland and healthy tissue intact.
Approximately 40 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are in early-stages. Over time, about 30 percent of these patients require some form of treatment. Focal therapy with HIFU is a safe and effective way to treat these patients. This treatment targets the “index lesion,” which is defined as a tumor of low or intermediate grade visible on MRI imaging. By controlling the growth of the index lesion, the cancer as a whole can be managed safely while minimizing side effects.
Focal therapy is similar in concept to a lumpectomy for breast cancer. During the procedure, an ultrasound probe is inserted while the patient is under anesthesia. The patient’s high-resolution MRI images, combined with biopsy data, is overlayed onto real-time ultrasound imaging to give urologists a 3D view of cancerous tissue. The physician then draws an “electronic bullseye” around the diseased tissue and ablates only that portion of the affected gland. This minimizes damage to surrounding structures.
Frequently, this precision outpatient treatment takes about an hour, and patients can go home the same day.