Hemi salvage high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in unilateral radiorecurrent prostate cancer: a prospective two-centre study

BJU Int. 2014 Oct;114(4):532-40. doi: 10.1111/bju.12545. Epub 2014 Apr 16.


Objective: To report the oncological and functional outcomes of hemi salvage high-intensity focused ultrasound (HSH) in patients with unilateral radiorecurrent prostate cancer.

Patients and methods: Between 2009 and 2012, 48 patients were prospectively enrolled in two European centres. Inclusion criteria were biochemical recurrence (BCR) after primary radiotherapy (RT), positive magnetic resonance imaging and ≥1 positive biopsy in only one lobe. BCR was defined using Phoenix criteria (a rise by ≥2 ng/mL above the nadir prostate specific antigen [PSA] level). The following schemes and criteria for functional outcomes were used: Ingelman-Sundberg score using International Continence Society (ICS) questionnaire (A and B), International prostate symptom score (IPSS), International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) points, the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality of life questionnaires (QLQ C-30). HSH was performed under spinal or general anaesthesia using the Ablatherm® Integrated Imaging device. Patients with obstructive voiding symptoms at the time of treatment underwent an endoscopic bladder neck resection or incision during the same anaesthesia to prevent the risk of postoperative obstruction.

Results: After HSH the mean (sd) PSA nadir was 0.69 (0.83) ng/mL at a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 16.3 (10.5-24.5) months. Disease progression occurred in 16/48 (33%). Of these, four had local recurrence in the untreated lobe and four bilaterally, six developed metastases, and two had rising PSA levels without local recurrence or radiological confirmed metastasis. Progression-free survival rates at 12, 18, and 24 months were 83%, 64%, and 52%. Severe incontinence occurred in four of the 48 patients (8%), eight (17%) required one pad a day, and 36/48 (75%) were pad-free. The ICS questionnaire showed a mean (sd) deterioration from 0.7 (2.0) to 2.3 (4.5) for scores A and 0.6 (1.4) to 1.6 (3.0) for B. The mean (sd) IPSS and erectile function (IIEF-5) scores decreased from a mean (sd) of 7.01 (5.6) to 8.6 (5.1) and from 11.2 (8.6) to 7.0 (5.8), respectively. The mean (sd) EORTC QLC-30 scores before and after HSH were 35.7 (8.6) vs 36.8 (8.6).

Conclusion: HSH is a feasible therapeutic option in patients with unilateral radiorecurrent prostate cancer, which offers limited urinary and rectal morbidity, and preserves health-related quality of life.

Keywords: EORTC QLC-30; external beam radiotherapy; functional outcomes; hemi-salvage treatment; high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU); local recurrence; oncological outcomes; prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Salvage Therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasound, High-Intensity Focused, Transrectal*


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen