Focused ultrasound treatment for the prostate is now available in the United States. Three systems for destroying diseased prostate tissue are now approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with BPH. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling BPH to be treated without surgery.
The primary options for treatment of BPH include medication and invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
A completed clinical trial in Finland was investigating a transurethral approach for several prostate conditions, including BPH. We are awaiting publication of the results.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
There are two focused ultrasound systems approved in the US for the ablation (destruction) of prostate tissue: SonaCare Medical and EDAP-TMS. Both of these use the transrectal approach. A transurethral approach is manufactured by Profound Medical, and is approved in Europe and in the US.
Treatment for BPH is approved in the US, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Russia, and South America. Insurance coverage varies, and many US companies may not cover this procedure.
Aoun F, Marcelis Q, Roumeguère T. Minimally invasive devices for treating lower urinary tract symptoms in benign prostate hyperplasia: technology update. Res Rep Urol. 2015 Aug 19;7:125-36. doi: 10.2147/RRU.S55340. eCollection 2015.
Khokhlova VA, Fowlkes JB, Roberts WW, Schade GR, Xu Z, Khokhlova TD, Hall TL, Maxwell AD, Wang YN, Cain CA. Histotripsy methods in mechanical disintegration of tissue: towards clinical applications. Int J Hyperthermia. 2015 Mar;31(2):145-62. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2015.1007538. Epub 2015 Feb 24.
Thiruchelvam N. Surgical therapy for benign prostatic hypertrophy/bladder outflow obstruction. Indian J Urol. 2014 Apr;30(2):202-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.126907.
Roberts WW. Development and translation of histotripsy: current status and future directions. Curr Opin Urol. 2014 Jan;24.
Click here for additional references from PubMed