CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 6 /PRNewswire/ -- USHIFU, LLC, the exclusive distributor of the Sonablate(R) 500 (Focus Surgery, Inc., Indianapolis, IN) in the Americas and South Africa, attracted significant interest from urologists and exhibitors at the annual meeting of the American Urology Association (AUA) in Atlanta, GA, May 20-24, 2006. Toyoaki Uchida, MD, Professor of Urology Department, Tokai University from Japan presented seven-year clinical data at the annual Users group meeting and highlighted new software upgrades of the Sonablate(R) 500 which allow for faster treatment, 3-dimensional imaging with accurate treatment planning and color-Doppler neurovascular bundle (NVB) detection.
"Our overwhelmingly positive experience at the AUA is a testament to the tireless work of the USHIFU team during the year. Our view is that the real work is accomplished during the year and that the AUA is simply a reflection of the year's efforts," said Steve Puckett, Jr., USHIFU CEO. "The innovators at Focus Surgery are pulling away from the field technologically as they set new standards that others seek to mimic."
More than 80 people attended the sixth annual Users group meeting for HIFU with the Sonablate(R) 500 where eight presentations were given by urologists from the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan highlighting the progress of the Sonablate(R) 500. Ivan Grunberger, MD presented on the progress of the FDA- approved recurrent prostate cancer clinical trials currently underway in New York. Uchida highlighted seven-year treatment data on 573 patients and concluded that the new software allows for decreased treatment times and improved patient outcomes.
Furthermore, Mark Emberton, MD from the Royal College of Surgeons in London, England, presented Visually Directed HIFU by the Sonablate(R) 500 and illustrated how, in his experience, physician-controlled treatment using the Sonablate(R) 500 resulted in PSA of less than 0.2 ng / ml in 83 percent of cases.
Jack Barkin, MD, chief of urology at Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto and director of Can-Am HIFU also gave a presentation on why he selected to work with the Sonablate(R) 500 and his experience in Canada. In addition to Barkin, Can-Am HIFU is comprised of other key urologic opinion leaders in Canada and North America, including Neil Fleshner, MD; Laurence Klotz, MD; Anthony Finnelli, MD; Sidney Radomski, MD and Mike Robinette, MD.
"I am proud to be the first Canadian Sonablate(R) 500 clinic in Toronto, " Barkin said. "With the help of world experts such as Mark Emberton, the decision to choose the Sonablate(R) 500 over the Ablatherm(R) was easy."
Michael Marberger, MD, gave a dedicated lecture on HIFU that was well received by almost 100 conference attendees as a continuing medical education (CME) course organized by the AUA. Marberger presented the basics of HIFU with an explanation of why the 4 MHz frequency of the Sonablate(R) 500 is a superior choice of operation, than other HIFU devices for prostate cancer.
According to Narendra Sanghvi, President and CEO of Focus Surgery, Inc., Marberger also discussed that HIFU with the Ablatherm(R) device requires a transurethral resection of prostate (TURP), a surgical procedure, to reduce the size of the prostate. The Ablatherm(R) can only treat a maximum prostate height of 25 mm, whereas the Sonablate(R) 500 can treat up to a height of 45 mm with no need for a TURP.
"As we expected, the continuous upgrades and enhancements of the Sonablate(R) 500 and the accelerating physician adoption have caused defensive commentary from the competition and entrenched industry interests," Puckett said. "We are experiencing a mushrooming effect as far as physician involvement and patient interest. As our team continues to execute on our plan we expect nothing less than for this industry 'noise' to grow louder which we view as clear evidence of our progress. HIFU is a disruptive technology that is literally 'making waves' throughout the urology community and we are extremely proud that the end result is dramatically improved patient care."
The Sonablate(R) 500, developed by Focus Surgery Inc. and manufactured by Misonix, Inc. , of Farmingdale, NY is in FDA-approved clinical trials in the US and is already available in International HIFU Centers in Canada and Mexico. For more details on treatment locations and physicians already performing the procedure visit http://www.InternationalHIFU.com.