Focal High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Targeted Hemiablation for Unilateral Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Evaluation of Oncologic and Functional Outcomes

Eur Urol. 2016 Feb;69(2):214-20. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2015.06.018. Epub 2015 Jul 9.


Background: In selected patients with unilateral, organ-confined prostate cancer (PCa), hemiablation of the affected lobe might be feasible to achieve acceptable cancer control with fewer complications.

Objectives: To assess the oncologic and functional outcomes of focal high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) hemiablation in unilateral organ-confined PCa.

Design, setting and patients: Single-center prospective evaluation of HIFU hemiablation for unilateral organ-confined PCa was performed from July 2009 through December 2013.

Intervention: Cancer localization was done with transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy and multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging followed by HIFU hemiablation.

Outcome measurement and statistical analysis: Oncologic outcomes were analyzed with control biopsies and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurement. Functional outcomes were assessed with validated questionnaires for genitourinary symptoms.

Results and limitations: Of 71 HIFU hemiablation patients, 67 completed the study protocol. The mean age was 70.2 yr (standard deviation: 6.8 yr), and median PSA was 6.1 ng/ml (interquartile range [IQR]: 1.6-15.5 ng/ml). Median maximum cancer-core length was 3 mm (IQR: 2-10 mm), and total cancer length was 6.5 mm (IQR: 2-24 mm). Gleason score was 6 (3+3) in 58 patients (86.6%) and 7 (3+4) in 9 patients (13.4%). Median follow-up was 12 mo (IQR: 6-50 mo), and at 12 mo, 56 of 67 patients had a negative control biopsy in the treated lobe. At 3 mo, all patients were continent, and potency was maintained in 11 of 21 preoperatively potent patients (confidence interval, 0.18-0.69). Complications included 8% Clavien-Dindo grade 2 and 2.8% grade 3 events.

Conclusions: Focal HIFU hemiablation appears to achieve acceptable oncologic outcomes with low morbidity and minimal functional changes. Longer follow-up will establish future considerations.

Patient summary: This study showed that high-intensity focused ultrasound hemiablation in selected patients with unilateral organ-confined prostate cancer can be used for satisfactory cancer control with minimal effect on genitourinary functions.

Keywords: Focal therapy; Hemiablation; High-intensity focused ultrasound; Prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden
  • Ultrasound, High-Intensity Focused, Transrectal* / adverse effects
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen