A minimally invasive technique known as hemigland high intensity focused ultrasound ablation (HIFU) is as safe and effective as commonly administered treatments for prostate cancer, such as surgery or radiation, which can lead to urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Done as an outpatient procedure, HIFU ablation involves using ultrasound to selectively destroy cancerous prostate tissue.

In a study of 100 men treated with this approach, 91% did not need to seek more radical treatment following HIFU, and 76% did not experience cancer recurrence. While some did have minor urinary issues, none developed incontinence. Overall, the treatment was safe and helped the men maintain their quality of life.

“This positive data empowers urologists to use focal HIFU ablation to effectively address prostate cancer without the intrinsic side effects of radical treatments,” says lead study author Andre Luis Abreu, MD, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.