"Health wise I am feeling great. I am a big supporter of trials - it allows new treatments and drugs to be brought in.”
A study of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) for men with early stage prostate cancer
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This trial was looking at a new treatment called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer.
In this trial, doctors were looking at a new treatment called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). High intensity ultrasound beams can kill cancer cells if the beam is focused directly onto them using a special machine. The HIFU machine used in this trial was called Sonablate 500.
Doctors use PSA blood tests to monitor prostate cancer treatment. In this trial, they wanted to find out how well HIFU worked by looking at PSA levels before and after treatment.
Summary of results
The researchers found the PSA level reduced to a very low level in many of the men taking part.
The trial recruited 172 men who had localised prostate cancer. Their average age was 64.
The trial team were able to put 136 of the men into risk groups
- 38 men were considered to have a low risk of their cancer growing or spreading
- 51 men were considered to have an intermediate risk
- 47 men were considered to have a high risk
The trial team did not have enough information to work out the risk for the other 36 men in the study.
All the men taking part had a single session of HIFU treatment. Just under a third of them also had hormone therapy for 3 months before having HIFU.
They had PSA tests every 3 months for the first year after treatment. The researchers found that nearly 8 out of 10 men (78%) had a very low PSA level 12 months after the HIFU treatment. A very low PSA level was less than 0.5ng/ml, but in about a third of the men taking part, tests could not detect any PSA in the blood.
The researchers suggest that these results show HIFU can help men with localised prostate cancer. But they point out that they would need longer term follow up to see if there is a long term benefit.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor M Emberton
Mr Hashim Ahmed
Pelican Cancer Foundation (charity)
University College London (UCL)
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust