Doctor with the HIFU ultrasound machine in an exam room

Advanced Noninvasive, Nonsurgical Prostate Cancer Treatment Now Available at Roswell Park

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can help preserve patients’ quality of life

  • Roswell Park is first center in WNY to offer HIFU treatment option
  • Ultrasound waves are directed to target diseased part of prostate
  • Outpatient procedure followed by routine testing, imaging

BUFFALO, N.Y. — For individuals living with early-stage prostate cancer, experts at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center now offer an advanced, safe and painless option to treat the disease. The Buffalo-based cancer center is the only provider in Western New York to offer high-intensity focused ultrasound, also known as HIFU.

HIFU is a form of focal therapy, a treatment that targets the cancer within the prostate gland. After scanning the prostate and constructing a three-dimensional model, a urologist uses highly targeted ultrasound waves to ablate, or destroy, cancer cells in the prostate. The procedure is an outpatient treatment performed under general anesthesia. Roswell Park prostate cancer experts say for patients who are good candidates for this treatment option, HIFU is noninvasive, carries a low risk of side effects and allows for quick recovery.

HIFU can be considered for certain patients with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Distinguishing characteristics of this treatment option:

  • HIFU is a noninvasive outpatient procedure with no incision, no blade, no scar and no radiation.  
  • This technology ablates prostate tissue by focusing high-intensity ultrasound waves on the affected area, causing localized heating that destroys the cells in the gland without damaging the healthy surrounding tissue.  
  • Focused ultrasound works in the same way as rays of sunlight that pass through a magnifying glass and are concentrated at a single point, equally causing a significant temperature to rise around the focal point. Real-time imaging allows for precise local ablation in one session under general anesthesia

“Patients who have prostate cancer that has not spread stand to benefit greatly from this new and advanced treatment,” says Khurshid Guru, MD, Chair of the Department of Urology and Robert P. Huben Endowed Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park. “For some, HIFU can be an alternative to surgery or even curative, supporting high quality of life — making this new tool an important prostate cancer treatment option.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type in people who are assigned male at birth – one in every eight will receive a diagnosis at some point in their life. Detected with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE), the earlier this cancer is found the greater chance it can be treated successfully. Roswell Park recommends baseline PSA testing for individuals at average risk starting at age 45, with those at high risk beginning at age 40. 

HIFU was fully funded by donations to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation through events like the Ride for Roswell. For more information on HIFU, additional prostate cancer treatments as well as screening, call 1-800-ROSWELL. 


From the world’s first chemotherapy research to the PSA prostate cancer biomarker, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center generates innovations that shape how cancer is detected, treated and prevented worldwide. Driven to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity, the Roswell Park team of 4,000 makes compassionate, patient-centered cancer care and services accessible across New York State and beyond. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park was among the first three cancer centers nationwide to become a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and is the only one to hold this designation in Upstate New York. To learn more about Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Roswell Park Care Network, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email

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