What is Hifu Prostate Cancer Treatment

HIFU therapy

What is HIFU?

The treatment method called "HIFU" (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a state-of-the-art therapeutic approach for various human tumors that is still being developed. With this technique, ultrasound waves are directed against malignant tumor cells. Ultrasound are high-frequency vibrations that move outside the human ear. The ultrasonic waves that are used in the HIFU are many times more energetic than the ultrasonic waves that are used in diagnostic ultrasound, which has been known for many years.

This bundling of the energy takes place through a special "converter", which can summarize the sound waves in an area of ​​millimeters. A very precise way of destroying the tumor cells has thus been found. The high-energy ultrasound waves heat the affected cells and are quasi "boiled over" (tumor ablation = killing the tumor cells).

The HIFU procedure is currently in the development phase, so that currently only a few specialized HIFU centers offer this treatment method. So far, however, many studies have already proven the effectiveness of the HIFU.

Where can HIFU therapy be used?

Possible areas of application are inoperable tumors of:

Further areas of application are.

HIFU therapy is used when advanced tumors, e.g. of the liver or pancreas, are not primarily operable and completely resectable due to their size or location. The HIFU provides therapy options that have already been used, such as Laser-Induced Thermotherapy (LITT) , Radio frequency ablation (RFA) or alcohol injection, as well selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) , another, non-invasive approach to tumor reduction.

Since HIFU is non-invasive, it is associated with relatively few side effects (in contrast to surgical methods). The tissue close to the tumor is spared as much as possible with HIFU therapy, so that the patient does not have to suffer any unnecessary additional damage or pain. The HIFU can either be used with a palliative (non-healing) intention, to shrink the tumor, reduce pain, etc. or with the intention of shrinking the tumor and making it resectable.

Whether the HIFU therapy can be used in a patient must be checked individually.

How does the HIFU treatment work?

For the HIFU treatment, the patients are placed under general anesthesia so that they can lie completely still and feel no pain during the procedure. The treatment session usually lasts 1-3 hours, with preparation and follow-up 2-6 hours. The exact planning is always carried out in cooperation with several specialist departments such as radiation medicine, anesthetists and internists.

HIFU side effects

Side effects of HIFU therapy are very rare and rarely serious. This can lead to slight abnormal sensations at the treated skin area, at the skin area under which the treated tumor lies. Slight reddening of the skin or swellings are usually short-lived and are also rarely found. Very rarely, irritation or infection of the surrounding organs can occur.

Who will pay for the HIFU therapy?

Currently, HIFU therapy is not a standard procedure for tumor reduction. Therefore, you must apply to the health insurance companies to cover the costs of the treatment. For this purpose, please contact our experienced specialists.


HIFU Center Frankfurt