Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

High-Energy Ultrasound Cooks Prostate Tumors


Currently, only about 25% of patients undergo surgery or radiation treatment for their prostate cancers with all the associated downsides. Others try hormone therapy, which also has side effects, or simply wait and watch the tumor. Chaussy believes for some men who don't want other treatments or can't tolerate them, HIFU appears promising.

"We can tell him what we have available is a technique which has quite good results over a follow-up of four years. That is not comparable to the statistics, which you have with radical [surgery]," Chaussy says.

In fact, other surgeons contacted by WebMD were skeptical of the approach. Patrick Walsh, MD, chief of urology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, says HIFU can't compete with surgery until it can bring PSA test scores down to undetectable levels. However, Chaussy insists that testing tissue samples directly from the gland are a better predictor of cure.

While acknowledging that the approach may work for some, K.C. Balaji, MD, says he would tend to recommend surgery. "Depending on the [severity] ? I would probably have the most curative solution, which would probably be surgery," he tells WebMD. Balaji is director of urology oncology at the University of Southern Illinois School of Medicine.

Meanwhile, the HIFU approach is not only being investigated in Europe but also here in the U.S. at hospitals in Washington, Houston, and San Francisco.

Vital Information:

  • A German researcher reports another option may become available to treat patients with prostate cancer, joining standard treatments like surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy. The new technique uses a probe inserted into the rectum so cancer cells in the nearby prostate gland may be heated and killed with ultrasound.
  • A recent study showed nearly 80% of the 440 men treated had a cancer-free follow-up test, or biopsy. Nearly all had a clear biopsy after a second treatment of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU.
  • Doctors still don't know how HIFU's results will compare to surgery, and some comment that they would still steer their patients to the surgical route.
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

man with doctor
Symptoms, risks, treatments
man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore
prostate cancer cells
What does this diagnosis mean?
doctor and male patient
Is it worth it?
cancer fighting foods
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
Prostate Enlarged
Picture Of The Prostate
Prostate Cancer Quiz
screening tests for men
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Vitamin D