Urologic oncologists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center have added another weapon in their arsenal of expertise to treat prostate cancer. Led by Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., renowned urologic oncologist and director of robotic surgery, Sylvester has acquired Focal One®, the most advanced technology available for delivering high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to target and ablate diseased prostate tissue.
Dr. Parekh premiered the Ablatherm® high intensity focused ultrasound as a prostate cancer treatment option in 2015, making Sylvester, part of the University of Miami Health System, the first site in the eastern U.S. to offer this innovative treatment.
Before HIFU, the standard was to treat the prostate gland with radiation therapy or perform traditional surgery. The evolution from Ablatherm to Focal One allows Dr. Parekh and Sylvester to continue to offer the latest generation HIFU to men with localized prostate cancer. Focal One fuses MRI and biopsy data with real-time ultrasound imaging that allows urologists to view integrated, detailed 3D images of the prostate and direct high intensity ultrasound waves to ablate the targeted area.
“This procedure is making a very positive and meaningful difference in the lives of patients because the side effects are significantly less in terms of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, compared to a total prostate removal, or radiation therapy,” said Dr. Parekh.
UHealth is a leader in the field of robotic surgery. It was the first academic medical center in the world to acquire the da Vinci Xi® robotic system, which set the gold standard for minimally invasive urologic procedures. Specialists at UHealth have completed more than 5,000 robotic procedures since the device was granted FDA approval.
Dr. Parekh has educated colleagues on robotic surgical techniques in the U.S., Latin America, India, and Europe. He led a groundbreaking study in The Lancet in 2018 that was the first to compare the outcomes of robotic surgery to those of traditional open surgery in any organ. The study found that the surgeries are equally effective in treating bladder cancer.