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Updated 12 May 2009

Efficacy data does not allow meaningful assessment as to the benefit-risk ratio of high intensity focus ultrasound (HIFU) as a primary treatment for localized prostate cancer, and hence cannot currently be recommended as standard therapy given current alternatives.

HIFU must be developed in a controlled manner within the context of a clinical trial, which should be approved by an Ethical Review Board (ERB), who should also monitor patient selection, informed consent, accrual, complication rates and other outcomes information. The BC Cancer Agency Genitourinary Tumour Group should also receive patient treatment data so that it may be added to data on other comparative modalities including active surveillance, prostatectomy, and radiotherapy.

In cases of radiorecurrent localized prostate cancer, where treatment options are more limited and associated with significant morbidity, HIFU could be considered a salvage treatment option associated with discussion of alternatives including salvage prostatectomy, cryotherapy, brachytherapy, or androgen deprivation therapy. Although again this should be in the context of an ethics approved protocol with the intention of collecting data prospectively for the purpose of publication in a peer reviewed journal.

You can download the full BCCA-GUTG assessment HIFU for prostate cancer report.