Jeff Mullins, MD
CHI Memorial is now offering high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), a treatment option for prostate cancer patients.
"HIFU is a revolutionary procedure designed to treat prostate cancer with pinpoint accuracy, sparing surrounding healthy tissue and minimizing the risk of side effects like incontinence and erectile dysfunction," officials said. "This cutting-edge technology uses high-frequency sound waves to precisely target and ablate, or remove, cancer cells in the prostate, leaving the rest of the gland unharmed.
"The benefit of this approach is the preservation of sexual and urinary function compared to traditional therapies. While HIFU treatment is not suitable for every prostate cancer patient, it offers a promising option for many."
“Surgery and radiation typically treat the entire prostate, while HIFU offers a focused approach. While surgery and radiation have high success rates, they can come with documented side effects, including urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction,” said Jeff Mullins, MD, medical director of urologic cancer at CHI Memorial and urologist at CHI Memorial Urology Associates.
“HIFU presents an alternative for patients with intermediate-risk tumors, where we aim to achieve long-term cancer cure rates without treating the entire gland. Importantly, it does not pose significant risks to adjacent organs, such as the rectum and bladder. This is a highly selective therapy tailored to specific patient criteria.”
HIFU typically takes one to three hours with patients under anesthesia. Patients may experience some pain or discomfort when waking up, which typically subsides quickly. Most insurers cover the procedure.
Dr. Mullins says the procedure will give patients more options for treatment besides surgery or radiation.
“The push for focal therapy in prostate cancer is growing stronger,” said Dr. Mullins. “At CHI Memorial, we strive to minimize bias by providing access to multiple treatment options, including surgery, radiation and now focal therapy like HIFU. Our collaborative approach ensures patients receive the best care tailored to their unique circumstances.”