News / Health

    Non-Invasive Robotic Surgery Destroys Prostate Cancer Tumors

    Researchers Use Non-Invasive Robotic Surgery to Destroy Prostate Cancer Tumorsi
    X
    December 11, 2015 10:26 AM
    Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men and is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in men globally. A non-invasive way of removing prostate cancer tumors is now available in the United States with the help of robotic technology. The University of Southern California is the first academic medical center in the U.S. to perform this type of procedure. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death in men globally.

    While death rates for prostate cancer have been decreasing in most developed countries, mortality rates are rising in some European and Asian countries such as South Korea, China and Russia. A non-invasive way of removing prostate cancer tumors is now available in the United States with the help of robotic technology.

    The University of Southern California is the first academic medical center in the U.S. to perform this type of procedure.

    Brett Lindsay knows he made history when he underwent a procedure known as robotic high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU.

    "I was excited about the new procedure because it was more or less non-invasive. The recovery time was a lot quicker — did not have to remove the prostate," Lindsay said.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the procedure even though it's been used in other countries to treat prostate cancer for about 10 years. Traditional prostate cancer treatments include either removing the entire gland or radiation, which will affect the quality of life for patients even if the cancer is removed, said Inderbir Gill, lead urologist at the University of Southern California Institute of Urology at Keck Medicine of USC.

    "The nerves that are lying right next to the prostate that are responsible for erections, the sphincter that's lying right next to the prostate that is responsible for urinary continence, they get compromised. So, yes, you take care of the cancer, but you significantly impact the person's quality of life," Gill said.

    Only cancer is targeted

    With HIFU, only the cancer is identified, targeted and destroyed. The HIFU procedure is an outpatient procedure, said Robert Barnett of SonaCare Medical, one of the manufacturers of the technology.

    "Here we're taking ultrasound energy off of a concave or bowl-like surface and bringing that to a focal point, and at that point we have tremendous heat generated and we can destroy tissue," Barnett said.

    HIFU devices are used in Western Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries, but not so much in developing countries.

    "I think in the Third World if you will, in developing countries, it's a financial thing. Those countries certainly don't have the resources to commit to health care. Their focus is more on preventing infectious disease," Barnett said.

    But he said that, looking at the global cost of treating prostate cancer, HIFU technology is less costly than radiation and it can easily be implemented in an unsophisticated medical setting.

    Gill said having the HIFU procedure at an academic medical center will allow them to further research the outcomes of HIFU procedures, minimize any side effects and advance the technology.

    The objective is "to figure out what molecular and genetic markers predict HIFU success, HIFU failure. Which patients are the best candidates for it? How do we not overtreat cancer? How do we not undertreat cancer?" Gill said.

    Brett Lindsay said he'll relax at home for a few days before going on a business trip in less than a week.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: george michael suarez from: United States
    December 22, 2015 7:05 PM
    As founder and former medical director of Sonacare HIFU, and actively performing HIFU for 15 years and now in the United States, Miami based practiced, It is exciting and humbling that this amazing technology was FDA approved and ranked amoung the 12 most important Medical Break Throughs in 2015.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora