US HIFU said that the objective of this modality is to detect and evaluate cancerous tissue and make treating only the cancerous prostatic tissue instead of the entire gland possible. Once the combined technologies are clinically validated, the tissue-typing technology is expected to become a standard feature in the Sonablate device.

Sonablate HIFU, currently under FDA investigation in the US, treats the diseased prostate with the power of ultrasound by delivering heat in rapid-fire succession to miniscule targets throughout the prostate so that the prostate is ablated, a process similar to the sun’s rays burning a leaf when directed through a magnifying glass.

Steve Puckett, CEO of US HIFU, said: “We are continually refining the HIFU procedure and have been researching focal therapy, which simply means targeting and treating the cancerous prostatic tissue instead of the entire prostate. We are extremely pleased to join forces with Riverside Research Institute because of what it can mean for patient care. This partnership may lead to an unprecedented capability to find the cancer and treat it with HIFU.”

Ernest Feleppa, research director of RRI said: “We are excited about the advances in prostate cancer treatment that this partnership makes possible. The current lack of a reliable means of imaging prostate tumors typically requires treatment of prostate cancer to involve the entire gland.

“By incorporating a method of imaging tumors within the prostate, we will be able to take full advantage of the precise ability of HIFU to target only the diseased region, which will spare healthy tissue, retain gland function and minimise toxic side effects. This capability, which will be realized in a single integrated ultrasound device, represents a major breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment.”