UC San Diego Health using sound waves as alternative prostate cancer treatment

Researchers at the University of California San Diego Health are the first in the county to employ high-intensity, focused ultrasound as a minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment, the system said Feb. 24.

High-intensity focused ultrasound is a minimally invasive outpatient treatment for localized prostate cancer that serves as an alternative to surgery or radiation treatments. The technology uses high-frequency sound waves directed at the cancerous tissue through an ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum. The sound waves target and heat the tissue to a temperature high enough to induce cell death.

"As the only academic medical center and National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region, we can offer patients leading-edge treatment not always available at other healthcare systems," Scott Lippman, MD, medical oncologist at UC San Diego Health, stated in a news release from the health system. "Our experts continue to improve approaches for prevention, diagnosing and treating cancers."

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