Effectiveness of HIFU

Long-Term Efficiency

In 2013 and 2014, three clinical studies (1;2;3) from French and German centers published long-term results (10 years) of total HIFU treatment and validated its efficacy: according to cancer risk, specific survival rate  at 10 years is between 92% and 99%; survival rate without metastasis at 10 years is between 86% and 100%.

Focal Treatment

In november 2016, results of the multicenter study(4) conducted by the French Association of Urology (AFU) on focal treatment (ablation of the infected prostate lobe only) of prostate cancer were published in the European Urology journal. This study showed an absence of clinically significant cancer in the treated lobe in 95% of cases and an optimal preservation of the continence for 97% of the patients and of the erectile function for more than 78% of them.

Continence and Sexual Function Preservation

Multicenter study(4) conducted by the French Association of Urology (AFU) showed optimal preservation of continence for 97% of patients and erectile function for more than 78% of them. In another study carried out by a medical team from Institut Bordet in Brussels(5), 80% of patients retained their sexual function, while more than 94% maintained perfect continence.

HIFU Pprostate Cancer Treatment Efficiency for Recurrence After Radiation Therapy

Dr. Albert Gelet from urology department of Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon, was the pioneer in the treatment of local recurrences after radiotherapy with HIFU treatment. An article from Edouard Herriot Hospital medical team has been published in the “Radiotherapy and Oncology” 2012(6) journal describing a series of 290 patients treated with this indication.  Results are very satisfactory with 81% of the control biopsies negative for an acceptable morbidity in this population at risk which is offered a new therapeutic chance.

Side Effects

Based on the experience gained and published in the literature since 2000 and as any treatment of prostate cancer, HIFU treatment may have some undesirable effects. Beyond the risks of incontinence and erectile dysfunction mentioned above, a narrowing of the urethra and the bladder neck can occur following a focused ultrasound treatment.


  1. Whole-gland Ablation of Localized Prostate Cancer with High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound: Oncologic Outcomes and Morbidity in 1002 Patients. Crouzet S. et al. European Urology 2014 May;65(5):907-14

  2. Evolution and outcomes of 3 MHz high intensity focused ultrasound therapy for localized prostate cancer during 15 years. Thüroff S. et al. J Urol. 2013 Aug;190(2):702-10

  3. Ganzer, R., Fritsche, H.-M., Brandtner, A., Bründl, J., Koch, D., Wieland, W. F. and Blana, A. (2013), Fourteen-year oncological and functional outcomes of high-intensity focused ultrasound in localized prostate cancer. BJU Int, 112: 322–329. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.11715.x;

  4. Focal High Intensity Focused Ultrasound of Unilateral Localized Prostate cancer: A Prospective Multicentric Hemiablation Study of 111 Patients. Rischmann P. et al, European Urology 2017 February;71(2):267-273

  5. Comparing High-Intensity Focal Ultrasound Hemiablation to Robotic Radical Prostatectomy in the Management of Unilateral Prostate Cancer: A Matched-Pair Analysis, Albisinni S. et al. Journal of Endourology 2017 January;31(1):14-19;

  6. Locally recurrent prostate cancer after initial radiation therapy: Early salvage high-intensity focused ultrasound improves oncologic outcomes Crouzet S. et al., 2012 Radiotherapy and Oncology 2012 Nov;105(2):198-202.


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  • Glossary
  • Bladder
    Organ in which urine accumulates before being expelled from the body.
  • Cancer
    Abnormal cells that develop in an uncontrolled manner. An accumulation of such cells is known as a tumor.
  • High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
    Medical technique that treats tumors by using focused ultrasound pulses to generate heat.
  • Incontinence
    Inability to refrain from urinating or defecating.
  • Metastasis
    Tumor formation caused when cancerous cells from an initial tumor migrate towards other parts of the body.
  • Prostate
    Gland in the male genital system that plays a role in semen production.
  • Radical prostatectomy
    Surgical procedure that completely removes the prostate.
  • Recurrence
    Reappearance of signs indicating the presence of cancer following a period of remission.
  • Side effect
    Generally adverse secondary consequence of a treatment.
  • Ultrasound
    Painless medical imaging examination performed using an ultrasound scanner.
  • Urethra
    Tube leading from the bladder through which urine leaves the body. The urethra also carries semen during an ejaculation.

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