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A trial of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to delay further treatment for prostate cancer
This trial used HIFU to see if it improved men’s quality of life by giving a treatment with fewer side effects and by delaying the need for more treatment.
More about this trial
Early prostate cancer can be treated with
- hormone therapy
These have side effects that can severely affect
High intensity ultrasound beams can kill cancer cells if the beam is focused directly on to them. This treatment is called high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).
By using HIFU to treat the largest area of cancer in the prostate doctors thought this might reduce the need for more intensive treatment.
The aims of this trial were to find out
- if treating the largest area of cancer in the prostate gland with HIFU could delay the need for further treatment
- what the side effects were
Summary of results
The trial team found targeting the largest area of cancer in the prostate delayed the need for further treatment and reduced the side effects.
This phase 2 trial recruited 56 men. All were treated with HIFU to the largest area of cancer in their prostate.
Six months after treatment 34 men had no sign of cancer in the treated area of their prostate.
A year after treatment 42 men had no significant cancer in any part of their prostate.
After having HIFU 4 men needed further treatment.
Before HIFU 40 men had problems with leakage of urine and erection difficulties. A year after treatment 33 men did.
The trial team concluded that men who have targeted HIFU have few side effects and that it is acceptable in controlling the cancer in the short term. They think further trials comparing this with other treatments are needed to find out how well targeted HIFU works.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Mark Emberton
Medical Research Council (MRC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Pelican Cancer Foundation
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust