Contributes by John Jurige, MD
This month, almost one year after the FDA cleared Sonablate HIFU for prostate tissue ablation, a major step forward was taken in the field of treatment for minimally invasive therapy for prostate cancer. The Sonablate, which is the most advanced HIFU device available for non-invasive destruction of prostate tissue, now incorporates UroNav MRI fusion software.
Targeted MR/ultrasound biopsies are gaining popularity in prostate cancer care due to the fact that, unlike traditional biopsies, physicians can take more accurate biopsies to pinpoint the precise location of the cancer within the prostate. The UroNav Fusion Biopsy System from Invivo fuses pre-biopsy MR images of the prostate with ultrasound-guided biopsy images in real time, for excellent delineation of the prostate and suspicious lesions, as well as clear visualization of the biopsy needle.
Merging UroNav software into the Sonablate takes the science once step further. Now instead of just taking a biopsy, the treating physician can use MRI images to plan HIFU treatment and immediately target and ablate the cancerous tissue. By merging the MRI images with the real-time ultrasound images that the Sonablate provides, HIFU doctors have a very clear road map that tells them exactly where to treat.
This means they do not have to treat unaffected tissue and can take a much more targeted approach to their treatment plan. This type of HIFU is known as focal HIFU therapy and a lot of physicians believe this is where HIFU will have the biggest impact in the prostate cancer treatment landscape. Focal HIFU is often a much shorter procedure with a quicker recovery time than if the entire prostate is treated.
The integration of Sonablate HIFU therapy with precise MRI directed targeting is a major advance for men with prostate cancer. In many patients with early to intermediate risk prostate cancer, focal therapy can provide excellent cancer eradication with a minimum of side effects or recovery time.
The first patients treatments with Sonablate HIFU and the integrated UroNav software took place in Louisville by Dr. John Jurige at the HPS Kentucky.
About the Author
Dr. Jurige has been practicing HIFU for over eight years and has treated or been involved with nearly 400 patients outside of the U.S. in in Mexico, Bermuda and the Bahamas serving as a proctor and medical director for International HIFU (a subsidiary of SonaCare Medical).
Jurige has over 25 years of practicing urology and is a member of the American Board of Urology, American Urological Association and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology at the University of Louisville. His areas of special interest include female urology and incontinence management, microsurgical vasectomy reversal, erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer treatment. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Louisville and completed his residency training there as well. He currently practices urology at First Urology in Louisville, Kentucky.