Salvage high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for locally recurrent prostate cancer after failed radiation therapy: Multi-institutional analysis of 418 patients

BJU Int. 2017 Jun;119(6):896-904. doi: 10.1111/bju.13766. Epub 2017 Mar 10.


Objective: To report the oncological outcome of salvage high-intensity focused ultrasound (S-HIFU) for locally recurrent prostate cancer after external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) from a multicentre database.

Patients and methods: This retrospective study comprises patients from nine centres with local recurrent disease after EBRT treated with S-HIFU from 1995 to 2009. The biochemical failure-free survival (bFFS) rate was based on the 'Phoenix' definition (PSA nadir + 2 ng/mL). Secondary endpoints included progression to metastasis and cancer-specific death. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed examining overall (OS), cancer-specific (CSS) and metastasis-free survival (MFS). Adverse events and quality of life status are reported.

Results: In all, 418 patients with a mean (SD) follow-up of 3.5 (2.5) years were included. The mean (SD) age was 68.6 (5.8) years and the PSA level before S-HIFU was 6.8 (7.8) ng/mL. The median PSA nadir after S-HIFU was 0.19 ng/mL. The OS, CSS and MFS rates at 7 years were 72%, 82% and 81%, respectively. At 5 years the bFFS rate was 58%, 51% and 36% for pre-EBRT low-, intermediate- and high-risk patients, respectively. The 5-year bFFS rate was 67%, 42% and 22% for pre-S-HIFU PSA level ≤4, 4-10 and ≥10 ng/mL, respectively. Complication rates decreased after the introduction of specific post-RT parameters: incontinence (grade II or III) from 32% to 19% (P = 0.002); bladder outlet obstruction or stenosis from 30% to 15% (P = 0.003); recto-urethral fistula decreased from 9% to 0.6% (P < 0.001). Study limitations include being a retrospective analysis from a registry with no control group.

Conclusion: S-HIFU for locally recurrent prostate cancer after failed EBRT is associated with 7-year CSS and MFS rates of >80% at a price of significant morbidity. S-HIFU should be initiated early following EBRT failure.

Keywords: PSA; #ProstateCancer; biochemical failure; follow-up; high-intensity focused ultrasound; salvage therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Treatment Failure
  • Ultrasound, High-Intensity Focused, Transrectal* / adverse effects