Courtesy of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

For individuals living with early-stage prostate cancer, experts at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center now offer an advanced, safe, and painless option to treat the disease. Roswell Park is the only provider in Western New York to offer high-intensity focused ultrasound, also known as HIFU.

HIFU is a form of focal therapy, a treatment that targets the cancer within the prostate gland. After scanning the prostate and constructing a three-dimensional model, a urologist uses highly targeted ultrasound waves to ablate or destroy cancer cells in the prostate. The procedure is an outpatient treatment performed under general anesthesia. Roswell Park prostate cancer experts say that for patients who are good candidates for this treatment option, HIFU is noninvasive, carries a low risk of side effects, and allows for quick recovery.

HIFU can be considered for certain patients with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer.

Distinguishing characteristics of this treatment option:
  • HIFU is a noninvasive outpatient procedure with no incision, no blade, no scar, and no radiation. This technology ablates prostate tissue by focusing high-intensity ultrasound waves on the affected area, which causes localized heating that destroys the cells in the gland without damaging the healthy surrounding tissue.
  • Focused ultrasound works in the same way as rays of sunlight that pass through a magnifying glass and are concentrated at a single point, equally causing a significant temperature increase around the focal point. Real-time imaging allows for precise local ablation in one session under general anesthesia.

“Patients who have prostate cancer that has not spread stand to benefit greatly from this new and advanced treatment,” says Khurshid Guru, MD, Chair of the Department of Urology and Robert P. Huben Endowed Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park. “For some, HIFU can be an alternative to surgery, or even curative, supporting a high quality of life — making this new tool an important prostate cancer treatment option.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type in people who are assigned male at birth – one in every eight will receive a diagnosis at some point in their life. Detected with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE), the earlier prostate cancer is found, the greater the chance it can be treated successfully. Roswell Park recommends baseline PSA testing for individuals at average risk starting at age 45, with those at high risk beginning at age 40.

HIFU was fully funded by donations to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation through events including the Ride for Roswell. For more information on HIFU, additional prostate cancer treatments, as well as screening, call 1-800-ROSWELL. For more great articles and information, visit