Indexed on: 07 Feb '07Published on: 07 Feb '07Published in: Expert review of medical devices
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of death from malignancy in the UK. The number of men diagnosed with PCa is increasing, due in part to an increased willingness of men to visit their family doctors with lower urinary tract symptoms, and also a willingness of physicians to test for it. As the demographic of men diagnosed with PCa becomes younger and better informed, so the demand for a less-invasive alternative to standard therapies becomes greater. The Sonablate-500 is one of only two high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) devices commercially available to treat PCa. HIFU is an attractive treatment option as it is the only form of therapy that neither involves direct instrumentation of the prostate nor ionizing radiation. This article describes the unique features of both the Sonablate-500 system hardware and software, and the outcome data from this device in the context of current standard therapies. Finally, a view into the future attempts to outline where this technology is heading and how a paradigm shift in the way that PCa is considered may make HIFU even more relevant.