HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound)

harvs
harvs Member Posts: 54
edited March 2014 in Prostate Cancer #1
Anyone heard of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound? Uses sound waves to destroy cancer tissue without prostrate removal.
«1

Comments

  • lewvino
    lewvino Member Posts: 1,010
    Yes, It is not currently
    Yes, It is not currently approved as a treatment in the USA. You would have to go offshore for treatment to either Mexico or the Bahamas. Perhaps Canada. if you are over 65 I believe you can get into clinical trials in the USA for it but other then that its out. Most insurance companies will not cover the cost since it is not 'approved'.

    There are some Doctor's in the US that will offer the treatment but as mentioned you have to travel to Mexico or Bahama's for a few days of treatment.

    Larry
  • gkoper
    gkoper Member Posts: 173
    Hifu
    What I have heard about hifu (not approved by the FDA) is that it essentially "cooks" the cancer cells. Mexico is where most guys go.
  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,333 Member
    Also some go to Europe
    It costs appr. 25K-30K.

    Ira
  • lewvino
    lewvino Member Posts: 1,010

    Also some go to Europe
    It costs appr. 25K-30K.

    Ira

    I talked to a Dr. out of
    I talked to a Dr. out of South Carolina that goes to the Bahama's one or two weekends a month taking his staff with him for nursing, anesthesia, etc. He quoted me around 32K - 35K for the treatment. I stuck with the DaVince surgery.
    Doing really well 20 days post surgery.

    Larry
  • lewvino said:

    I talked to a Dr. out of
    I talked to a Dr. out of South Carolina that goes to the Bahama's one or two weekends a month taking his staff with him for nursing, anesthesia, etc. He quoted me around 32K - 35K for the treatment. I stuck with the DaVince surgery.
    Doing really well 20 days post surgery.

    Larry

    HIFU
    The Dr. in South Carolina also goes to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico two weekends a month taking his staff there. The cost is $25,000. He is one of the most experienced...
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58

    HIFU
    The Dr. in South Carolina also goes to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico two weekends a month taking his staff there. The cost is $25,000. He is one of the most experienced...

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back in December '08 in Mexico. It's a 2 hour procedure under general anesthesia, then you wait 2 more hours while you get your wits about you waiting for the anesthesia to wear off, then you go home and sit around remarking how you feel like nothing happened. Life is back to normal, oh, you can't go mountain climbing for a month as things have to settle down, you don't want to shake them up. But, it was easy, ultrasound!

    You get a supra pubic catheter, it's put there to "clean you out" prior to treatment, and then it needs to stay in place for 2 weeks so that the ash can wash out in your urine. My husband surely didn't like the catheter at the time, but today he feels he is the luckiest guy alive to have heard about HIFU.

    It was $25,000. and yes our doc brought his entire medical team, there were 5 people there wearing international HIFU uniforms, he is from S. Carolina, he teaches other doctors the technique of HIFU. Best money we ever spent. PSA 0.4
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    HIFUgal said:

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back in December '08 in Mexico. It's a 2 hour procedure under general anesthesia, then you wait 2 more hours while you get your wits about you waiting for the anesthesia to wear off, then you go home and sit around remarking how you feel like nothing happened. Life is back to normal, oh, you can't go mountain climbing for a month as things have to settle down, you don't want to shake them up. But, it was easy, ultrasound!

    You get a supra pubic catheter, it's put there to "clean you out" prior to treatment, and then it needs to stay in place for 2 weeks so that the ash can wash out in your urine. My husband surely didn't like the catheter at the time, but today he feels he is the luckiest guy alive to have heard about HIFU.

    It was $25,000. and yes our doc brought his entire medical team, there were 5 people there wearing international HIFU uniforms, he is from S. Carolina, he teaches other doctors the technique of HIFU. Best money we ever spent. PSA 0.4

    Oh, BTW, Blue Cross and Blue
    Oh, BTW, Blue Cross and Blue Shield does pay.
  • JohnDa
    JohnDa Member Posts: 3
    HIFUgal said:

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back in December '08 in Mexico. It's a 2 hour procedure under general anesthesia, then you wait 2 more hours while you get your wits about you waiting for the anesthesia to wear off, then you go home and sit around remarking how you feel like nothing happened. Life is back to normal, oh, you can't go mountain climbing for a month as things have to settle down, you don't want to shake them up. But, it was easy, ultrasound!

    You get a supra pubic catheter, it's put there to "clean you out" prior to treatment, and then it needs to stay in place for 2 weeks so that the ash can wash out in your urine. My husband surely didn't like the catheter at the time, but today he feels he is the luckiest guy alive to have heard about HIFU.

    It was $25,000. and yes our doc brought his entire medical team, there were 5 people there wearing international HIFU uniforms, he is from S. Carolina, he teaches other doctors the technique of HIFU. Best money we ever spent. PSA 0.4

    Doctors
    Hi, Thank you for your comment. I've read that this treatment is available in 33 countries but not here yet. What does your husband have to do for follow up in way of treatment, checkups, etc? How can I get in touch with this doctor who does the HIFU? Is your husband having any side effects? Has it affected his sex life, important to all men? Your responses will be most appreciated. John
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    JohnDa said:

    Doctors
    Hi, Thank you for your comment. I've read that this treatment is available in 33 countries but not here yet. What does your husband have to do for follow up in way of treatment, checkups, etc? How can I get in touch with this doctor who does the HIFU? Is your husband having any side effects? Has it affected his sex life, important to all men? Your responses will be most appreciated. John

    Hi JohnDa,
    Sorry, it took me

    Hi JohnDa,
    Sorry, it took me a while to find this post!

    There was no follow up, just a PSA test in 3,6,9 & 12 months. Dr. Scionti keeps in touch through a survey he sends out every 3 months. Of course if I have any questions I know I can still call anytime, he is No. 1. The doctor that you use is very important, like in anything experience is very important, it's a delicate procedure.

    PSA is now 0.3 Perfect!

    Sex is better than ever...I love the fact there is no mess! He thinks the fact that huge gland is shrunk lets more flow go...

    We are so happy we found HIFU....NYhifucenter.com

    Oh, I heard Aetna pays too, on appeal.
  • luckyman2
    luckyman2 Member Posts: 54
    HIFU available in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    HIFU has been available at the HIFU Maple Leaf clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada since (I believe) 2002.

    You can find information on their website: www.hifu.ca

    The website has an FAQ section answering most, if not all, of the questions you might have about the clinic, procedure, recovery and insurance. It also has a section specifically for US citizens.

    I wish that I would have been able to choose HIFU when I was diagnosed with PC, but "the jury was still out" at the time regarding the short and long term effectives. In addition my cancer was located in the lobes that would have made it too difficult for nerve sparing using HIFU. (That's covered in their website.) So, I opted for laparoscopy surgery... with good results.
  • Ralphie62
    Ralphie62 Member Posts: 61
    HIFUgal said:

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back

    Hi,
    My husband had HIFU back in December '08 in Mexico. It's a 2 hour procedure under general anesthesia, then you wait 2 more hours while you get your wits about you waiting for the anesthesia to wear off, then you go home and sit around remarking how you feel like nothing happened. Life is back to normal, oh, you can't go mountain climbing for a month as things have to settle down, you don't want to shake them up. But, it was easy, ultrasound!

    You get a supra pubic catheter, it's put there to "clean you out" prior to treatment, and then it needs to stay in place for 2 weeks so that the ash can wash out in your urine. My husband surely didn't like the catheter at the time, but today he feels he is the luckiest guy alive to have heard about HIFU.

    It was $25,000. and yes our doc brought his entire medical team, there were 5 people there wearing international HIFU uniforms, he is from S. Carolina, he teaches other doctors the technique of HIFU. Best money we ever spent. PSA 0.4

    BCBS
    My husband is young and healthy, and I am interested in HIFU.....how did BCBS pay....did you have to pay upfront...file appeals etc??? i love my husband and want the best treatment for him, but money is an issue..........ralph's wife
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    luckyman2 said:

    HIFU available in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    HIFU has been available at the HIFU Maple Leaf clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada since (I believe) 2002.

    You can find information on their website: www.hifu.ca

    The website has an FAQ section answering most, if not all, of the questions you might have about the clinic, procedure, recovery and insurance. It also has a section specifically for US citizens.

    I wish that I would have been able to choose HIFU when I was diagnosed with PC, but "the jury was still out" at the time regarding the short and long term effectives. In addition my cancer was located in the lobes that would have made it too difficult for nerve sparing using HIFU. (That's covered in their website.) So, I opted for laparoscopy surgery... with good results.

    Hi ralphie's wife,
    You can

    Hi ralphie's wife,

    You can not be positive any insurance will pay. You must pay for HIFU before you go to Mexico, Canada, etc. I have heard BCBS will pay, but then I also understand that each state may be different...I don't know for sure, I don't know anyone personally who has had insurance pay for HIFU, these are just posts on the internet, and articles in the newspaper, hard to verify.

    Money is hard to spend for everyone, especially when we buy insurance and find out it's worthless, you just have to decide. We work to make a better life.

    Best of luck...
  • Ralphie62
    Ralphie62 Member Posts: 61
    HIFUgal said:

    Hi ralphie's wife,
    You can

    Hi ralphie's wife,

    You can not be positive any insurance will pay. You must pay for HIFU before you go to Mexico, Canada, etc. I have heard BCBS will pay, but then I also understand that each state may be different...I don't know for sure, I don't know anyone personally who has had insurance pay for HIFU, these are just posts on the internet, and articles in the newspaper, hard to verify.

    Money is hard to spend for everyone, especially when we buy insurance and find out it's worthless, you just have to decide. We work to make a better life.

    Best of luck...

    HIFU
    HIFU gal .....you know more than anyone about HIFU....i am researching for my husband...we are considering working on funds for your Doc/ out of the country treatment. I did, however contact the office for US trials today and they seemed very positive...we could choose Duke or chapel hill....start fairly soon..........do you know anything about the doctors running the trials??? we would be offered an opportunity to interview the doc performing the treatments......i'd appreciate any input...you have been so very helpful......glad your husband is doing so well :) Ralphies wife
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    Ralphie62 said:

    HIFU
    HIFU gal .....you know more than anyone about HIFU....i am researching for my husband...we are considering working on funds for your Doc/ out of the country treatment. I did, however contact the office for US trials today and they seemed very positive...we could choose Duke or chapel hill....start fairly soon..........do you know anything about the doctors running the trials??? we would be offered an opportunity to interview the doc performing the treatments......i'd appreciate any input...you have been so very helpful......glad your husband is doing so well :) Ralphies wife

    Hi Ralphie's wife,
    I wish I

    Hi Ralphie's wife,

    I wish I knew it all, or that doctors would tell us what is true. First, there are two machines, the Ablatherm and the Sonablate.

    Those two trials you mentioned are Ablatherm trials, I've not been in favor of Ablatherm because Dr. Scionti told me that he prefers the Sonablate, however he works with both. He prefers the sonablate because he can control the machine, still the sonablate has a robotic feature in that it can tell the operator it sees cancer -- to be sure that the operator gets it. It's a stationey wand that both machines use, but the difference is the Sonablate is controlled manually by a doctor moving the beam of sound inside the wand, while the Ablatherm is totally robotic, if any of the gland falls outside the scope of the machine it will not get that.

    I wonder what size Ralphie's gland is, if it is over 25cc then he won't qualify. I've found men who were lead on by the lure of the clinical trial, and then told it wouldn't work on them - as their gland was too big, and so they didn't persue it outside the clinical trials because they believe HIFU won't work for them.

    But, if Ralphie's gland is over the size limit he could have HIFU in Canada or elsewhere with the Ablatherm, however, he would need to have a gland reducing procedure done first, that would be TURP (ick!) or green light lazer (great, but only available in Florida), or hormones (oh no!).

    The trials won't allow any gland reducing procedure.

    However, the Sonablate will work on any gland up to 60cc. Another reason Scionti prefers it.

    Another thing, the trials scare me, because the doctors in them haven't that much experience, HIFU is a art, it takes skill and patience. Although the Ablatherm is robotic....so maybe they will be okay...ask how many men they have treated, and get their phone numbers and call them.

    I'd go to Puerto Vallarta and have Dr. Carlos Garcia treat him, he only charges $12,000. because he and his team live there. He's a great man. He uses the Sonablate.

    My husband doesn't believe he ever had cancer, HIFU is amazing, it's so sad they keep it from us.
  • Ralphie62
    Ralphie62 Member Posts: 61
    HIFUgal said:

    Hi Ralphie's wife,
    I wish I

    Hi Ralphie's wife,

    I wish I knew it all, or that doctors would tell us what is true. First, there are two machines, the Ablatherm and the Sonablate.

    Those two trials you mentioned are Ablatherm trials, I've not been in favor of Ablatherm because Dr. Scionti told me that he prefers the Sonablate, however he works with both. He prefers the sonablate because he can control the machine, still the sonablate has a robotic feature in that it can tell the operator it sees cancer -- to be sure that the operator gets it. It's a stationey wand that both machines use, but the difference is the Sonablate is controlled manually by a doctor moving the beam of sound inside the wand, while the Ablatherm is totally robotic, if any of the gland falls outside the scope of the machine it will not get that.

    I wonder what size Ralphie's gland is, if it is over 25cc then he won't qualify. I've found men who were lead on by the lure of the clinical trial, and then told it wouldn't work on them - as their gland was too big, and so they didn't persue it outside the clinical trials because they believe HIFU won't work for them.

    But, if Ralphie's gland is over the size limit he could have HIFU in Canada or elsewhere with the Ablatherm, however, he would need to have a gland reducing procedure done first, that would be TURP (ick!) or green light lazer (great, but only available in Florida), or hormones (oh no!).

    The trials won't allow any gland reducing procedure.

    However, the Sonablate will work on any gland up to 60cc. Another reason Scionti prefers it.

    Another thing, the trials scare me, because the doctors in them haven't that much experience, HIFU is a art, it takes skill and patience. Although the Ablatherm is robotic....so maybe they will be okay...ask how many men they have treated, and get their phone numbers and call them.

    I'd go to Puerto Vallarta and have Dr. Carlos Garcia treat him, he only charges $12,000. because he and his team live there. He's a great man. He uses the Sonablate.

    My husband doesn't believe he ever had cancer, HIFU is amazing, it's so sad they keep it from us.

    HIFU trials
    HIFU gal, i am so excited this morning.... I actually continued to research trials last evening and spoke with Dawn, who is heading up recruitment for the Sonablate trials in the US...recruitment is on hold until March, but she has my number and was very positive re our involvement. She knows Dr Scionti, and says he and his partner are the chief consultants over their areas of the study with the sonoblate...she said I could speak with him directly re the sonoblate trials, and that he was overseeing the training of the physicians performing treatment in the study....that he is very vested in positive results in the study. I think this would be a good opportunity for us, if we qualify. I am also very interested in Dr Garcia, and we are working on funding for this.......we will have to go that route if we require procedures because of size issues. you are such a great informed resource for all of us, and a great friend!! Thank you so much for all of your help...........have a great day!!! Ralphie's wife
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    Ralphie62 said:

    HIFU trials
    HIFU gal, i am so excited this morning.... I actually continued to research trials last evening and spoke with Dawn, who is heading up recruitment for the Sonablate trials in the US...recruitment is on hold until March, but she has my number and was very positive re our involvement. She knows Dr Scionti, and says he and his partner are the chief consultants over their areas of the study with the sonoblate...she said I could speak with him directly re the sonoblate trials, and that he was overseeing the training of the physicians performing treatment in the study....that he is very vested in positive results in the study. I think this would be a good opportunity for us, if we qualify. I am also very interested in Dr Garcia, and we are working on funding for this.......we will have to go that route if we require procedures because of size issues. you are such a great informed resource for all of us, and a great friend!! Thank you so much for all of your help...........have a great day!!! Ralphie's wife

    I'm so glad to hear, you are
    I'm so glad to hear, you are in the best hands! It's not just that Dr. Scionti is vested, he cares deeply, he stays in touch with all of us.

    Do you know your husband's gland size? PSA? Gleason?

    Yes, plan for the worse, hope for the best....save that money ~ it's so worth it.

    Yes, have a great day!!!
  • Ralphie62
    Ralphie62 Member Posts: 61
    HIFUgal said:

    I'm so glad to hear, you are
    I'm so glad to hear, you are in the best hands! It's not just that Dr. Scionti is vested, he cares deeply, he stays in touch with all of us.

    Do you know your husband's gland size? PSA? Gleason?

    Yes, plan for the worse, hope for the best....save that money ~ it's so worth it.

    Yes, have a great day!!!

    stats
    He is a gleason 6 with no palpable masses or noted on ultrasound....i'm not sure about volume, but we think he said 30 during the biopsy: we are going in for our big Prostate cancer consultation on Thurs, and i'm getting a copy of all the records. We wanted to be as prepared as posssible, as many Physicians have a strong preference to treatment options. Today is only a week since the path report came back........Ralphie's wife
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    Ralphie62 said:

    stats
    He is a gleason 6 with no palpable masses or noted on ultrasound....i'm not sure about volume, but we think he said 30 during the biopsy: we are going in for our big Prostate cancer consultation on Thurs, and i'm getting a copy of all the records. We wanted to be as prepared as posssible, as many Physicians have a strong preference to treatment options. Today is only a week since the path report came back........Ralphie's wife

    He is qualified for the
    He is qualified for the Sonablate trials! (but not Ablatherm) and he is great shape for a full recovery!

    Yes, be sure and get copies of everything as the HIFU doctors will need to look at them.

    Very happy for you, he's going to be a-okay!
  • HIFUgal
    HIFUgal Member Posts: 58
    HIFUgal said:

    He is qualified for the
    He is qualified for the Sonablate trials! (but not Ablatherm) and he is great shape for a full recovery!

    Yes, be sure and get copies of everything as the HIFU doctors will need to look at them.

    Very happy for you, he's going to be a-okay!

    HIFU in Switzerland
    According to this article in Swiss News they have been using HIFU for prostate cancer for many years and now they are using it for brain tumors... http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/index/Non-invasive_brain_surgery_proves_successful.html?cid=655182



    No, I don't get paid for spreading the word, I'm just trying to help men find there is another cure for prostate cancer, one that doesn't hurt, yes, there are nice people in the world.

    If you know about HIFU then you learned from a friend or from watching Mike and Juliet Morning Show, FOX News, The Doctors, Ted Koppell, EuroNews, Sky News, and more....and here's a list of some magazine articles... http://www.hifucarecenter.com/NewsEvents/tabid/69/Default.aspx

    A doctor in Florida wrote on his facebook page..." HIFU is not just for early stage disease. Just like all the definitive treatments for presumed "clinically localized disease", the sooner we treat it, the better the chance that we kill all the cancer. The best case senario is finding just a little prostate cancer in one or two (of 12) biopsies. That said, I've treated patients with high grade disease in half the biopsies, too...with great results!"
  • mrshisname
    mrshisname Member Posts: 186
    Ralphie62 said:

    HIFU trials
    HIFU gal, i am so excited this morning.... I actually continued to research trials last evening and spoke with Dawn, who is heading up recruitment for the Sonablate trials in the US...recruitment is on hold until March, but she has my number and was very positive re our involvement. She knows Dr Scionti, and says he and his partner are the chief consultants over their areas of the study with the sonoblate...she said I could speak with him directly re the sonoblate trials, and that he was overseeing the training of the physicians performing treatment in the study....that he is very vested in positive results in the study. I think this would be a good opportunity for us, if we qualify. I am also very interested in Dr Garcia, and we are working on funding for this.......we will have to go that route if we require procedures because of size issues. you are such a great informed resource for all of us, and a great friend!! Thank you so much for all of your help...........have a great day!!! Ralphie's wife

    HIFU etc
    Hi Ralphie's wife. We just received my husband's diagnosis on Friday February 20, 2010. You are just a few weeks ahead of us. I went to Dr. Scionti's site and called, but had to leave a message but it wasn't with Dawn.
    I've been reading good and bad about HIFU on the internet, this is so darned confusing. The one thing about your post that did bother me (sorry) is the fact that the physicians who are doing the actual procedures are in TRAINING. Is Dr. Scionti actually there directly supervising??
    We are also considering DaVinci but have a friend whose husband had it and he is impotent. Our urologist does DaVinci and is quite experienced. He also is doing HIFU in Mexico but $25,000 - $30,000 is quite a lot of money. Just don't know what to think...I never realized what a puzzling decision this would be. I am a registered nurse and this is driving me crazy, already! Let me know your thoughts and where you are in the process..best wishes.