US HIFU, LLC (US HIFU) announced that it has added new software component, called Tissue Change Monitoring (TCM), to its Sonablate 500 medical device. It will improve the existing minimally invasive treatment for prostate cancer using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) , by enabling physicians to monitor prostatic tissue changes in real-time.

Stephen Puckett, Jr., chief executive officer, US HIFU said: TCM represents yet another major step forward for the Sonablate HIFU platform. From a physician’s perspective, it has the potential to significantly shorten the learning curve related to appropriate energy delivery. From a competitive perspective, TCM levels the playing field with MRI systems because TCM gives immediately feedback on what is happening to the tissue during treatment.

In the ablative therapy process, the TCM quantitative software module provides feedback as to what exactly is happening to the prostatic tissue during HIFU. Prior to the delivery ultrasound energy, a radio frequency signal (RF) is sent to a precise site in the prostate. Following the ultrasound delivery, another signal is sent to quantifies the change that actually took place. TCM color-coded results are displayed on the Sonablate 500 screen and overlaid on a sagittal image. This enables to determine immediately how much change there was in the tissue at that particular site.

US HIFU has marketed TCM in some locations and it plans to begin a worldwide installation for Sonablate HIFU users.

TCM will be installed at the Institute of Urology at University College in London this week , where Mark Emberton, MD has performed more than 800 HIFU procedures.

I have long been a user and advocate of the Sonablate 500 because it allows the physician to control the exact point where ultrasound energy is delivered and vary the intensity of the energy, said Dr. Emberton. With the addition of TCM, physicians can determine immediately if the energy has been sufficient to successfully ablate the targeted prostate tissue and if not, the Sonablate allows users to make adjustments in real-time instead of completing a treatment phase and then reviewing the feedback.