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Henry Ford Health first in Michigan to treat prostate cancer with robotic HIFU

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 17, 2022
Rad Oncology Operating Room Ultrasound
Henry Ford Health has performed the first HIFU procedure in Michigan to treat prostate cancer with the Focal One system.
Henry Ford Health has become the first care provider in Michigan to treat localized prostate cancer with robotic high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), a nonsurgical treatment designed to spare healthy surrounding tissue.

The radiation-free procedure utilizes high-frequency ultrasound waves to heat up and destroy tumors without damaging healthy parts of the gland, thereby reducing the risk of side effects such as impotence and urinary incontinence.

The hospital performed the treatment on Charles Rashid, 64, who was initially diagnosed with an intermediate grade cancer through a routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening that was confirmed with a prostate MR scan and a targeted biopsy.

The hospital used the Focal One Robotic HIFU system, which fuses ultrasound images with scans imported from MR and biopsy data. This gives physicians 3D images on a monitor to help target and apply ultrasound waves with greater precision to specific areas of the cancerous tissue. In addition to sparing healthy tissue, the procedure allows for quicker treatment time and recovery. “I was with Dr. Rogers at the Fairlane medical center by 7 a.m., and already back at home by 11 a.m. I was surprised to know that I could be treated without having surgery,” said Rashid in a statement.

HIFU eliminates the need to actively follow and survey patients and is an alternative to radiation therapy and prostatectomy surgery, both of which can come with long-term risks and complications. It also may help maintain quality of life.

Dr. Craig Rogers, chair of the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health, told HCB News that while a viable means of treatment, patient eligibility is selective. “We select patients with intermediate risk cancer, a tumor localized to one side of the prostate based on a targeted MR biopsy and an appropriate prostate anatomy. It is not a treatment for all patients. If the cancer is more aggressive or not localized, then we do whole gland treatments, such as prostatectomy or radiation.”

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