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US HIFU to Showcase High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer at AUA

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The performance of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and focal therapy to deliver minimally invasive treatment of prostate cancer is the focus of multiple research papers accepted for presentation at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), in Atlanta May 19-23, 2012.  According to USHIFU, LLC (US HIFU), a world leader in minimally invasive HIFU technologies, the studies bolster a growing interest in the potential of HIFU to offer another treatment option for prostate cancer designed to balance treatment effectiveness and quality of life.

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"With increased awareness of the need to develop a spectrum of care that offers an appropriate balance between effective treatment of prostate cancer and the preservation of patients' quality of life, US HIFU is focused on working with the urology community to gather additional clinical data and insight to optimize HIFU technology as a potential new treatment option," said Mike Klein, CEO for US HIFU.  "At this AUA meeting, we are actively seeking insight from urologists to guide the development of HIFU technologies to further enhance the safety and efficacy and identify areas of interest to focus studies and clinical trials for a wide range of applications. We have an unprecedented number of meetings scheduled at AUA, which will add additional valuable insights."

US HIFU will showcase its HIFU technologies at the AUA meeting.  The company will conduct quantitative market research to measure urologists' understanding and acceptance of HIFU for prostate cancer at the AUA meeting, as well as meetings with industry thought-leaders to gather insight to shape future development and clinical trial priorities. 

The company also announced that Tower Urology and University of Cincinnati have joined the U.S. FDA clinical trial. The new sites join such institutions as Walter Reed Medical Center, UCLA, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Indiana University as investigators evaluating the Sonablate® 500 as a possible treatment for recurrent prostate cancer in patients treated previously with radiation therapy.  

The company also announced they will host informal briefing sessions with Dr. Hashim Ahmed and Dr. Mark Emberton of the University College of London Hospital.  The sessions will highlight research being done at UCLH using US HIFU technology for focal therapy, including a recent study using the Sonablate to deliver focal treatment for prostate cancer. The outcome of this initial study indicates HIFU may provide an alternative to traditional treatment with significantly fewer side effects, according to results published in the current issue of Lancet Oncology (DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70121-3).

In addition, although still investigational in the United States, recent HIFU treatment guidelines have been issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) of the United Kingdom.  Interventional procedure guidance 424, "Focal therapy using high-intensity focused ultrasound for localised prostate cancer," indicates current evidence on focal therapy using HIFU for localized prostate cancer raises no major safety concerns.

HIFU is a therapy that destroys targeted tissue with rapid heat elevation. HIFU concentrates high frequency ultrasound waves (similar to a magnifying glass) into an area the size of a grain of rice. At that location, or focal point, the temperature rapidly rises to almost 90 degrees Celsius (195 degrees Fahrenheit).  Tissue at the focal point, including cancerous tissue, is destroyed. HIFU uses non-ionizing energy, so the procedure can be repeated, if necessary. HIFU is being studied around the world to treat a wide variety of cancers and soft tissue diseases.

The majority of men treated for prostate cancer are treated with surgery or radiotherapy, which involve treating the whole prostate.  Both cause damage to the surrounding non-cancerous tissue and can lead to substantial side effects such as urinary incontinence and impotence.  The goal of focal therapy is to offer an alternative to men who value genito-urinary function and quality of life, allowing each patient and their physician to balance the risk and clinical benefit of individual treatment options.

USHIFU, LLC (US HIFU), a privately held, venture-backed healthcare company, is a world leader in minimally invasive high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technologies. US HIFU is committed to treating prostate cancer using HIFU with the Sonablate® 500, a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure pioneered to control cancer and significantly improve patients' quality of life. US HIFU is engaged in ongoing research for technological advancements for the Sonablate system and/or other ultrasound applications. The Sonablate is approved for investigational use within the U.S. and is being studied in a clinical trial as a possible treatment for recurrent prostate cancer in patients treated previously with radiation therapy. The FDA has made no decision as to the safety or efficacy of the Sonablate for the treatment of prostate cancer. Currently, the device is available for the treatment of prostate cancer outside the U.S. in more than 30 countries. US HIFU was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. Additional information may be found at

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