4-year follow-up outcomes: High intensity focused ultrasound

High intensity focused ultrasound as first line salvage therapy in prostate cancer local relapse after radical prostatectomy: 4-year follow-up outcomes

Giuseppe Palermo, Angelo Totaro, Emilio Sacco, Nazario Foschi, Gaetano Gulino, Marco Racioppi, Pierfrancesco Bassi, Francesco Pinto

Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, the Italian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 2017, 69 (1): 93-100


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in developed countries. Despite the primary treatments, 20-30% of patients experience a recurrence. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of salvage high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) after radical prostatectomy in terms of biochemical free survival rate (BFSR) and PSA nadir.


Twenty two patients with local recurrence of Pca after radical prostatectomy underwent HIFU as first-line salvage therapy. Considering that in all HIFU experiences, PSA nadir and PSA failure are different and PSA definition of BFSR is unknown, we defined treatment success as a PSA nadir ≤0.4 ng/mL 3 months after treatment. All early and late medical and surgical complications were recorded.


Ten of the 22 patients (45.5%) were classified as “success” three months after HIFU, showing a nadir PSA≤0.4 ng/mL; 12/22 patients (54.5%) were classified as “failure” during follow-up (median follow-up: 48 months). Seventeen of 22 (77%) patients were continent (no-pad) before HIFU. A new diagnosis of stress urinary incontinence was made in 5 cases (early onset) after treatment. A case of vesicoureteral anastomotic stenosis was treated, endoscopically through cold urethrotomy. We did not observe cases of recto-urinary fistula or persistent lower urinary tract symptoms. Two sevenths of the patients complained about de novo erectile dysfunction after HIFU.


The positive oncologic outcomes in the short term anyway obtained in selected patients, associated with documented mild side effects, represent the basis to start more organic, prospective, randomized and multicenter study protocols, that with a long term follow-up could confirm these promising preliminary results.

To read more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28009150

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