MIAMI, Oct. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. George Suarez is widely known as the pioneering urologist who spearheaded the HIFU clinical trials with the FDA and is acknowledged as the foremost expert in the United States on the HIFU procedure applied to the treatment of prostate cancer. October 9th marks the one-year anniversary since the FDA officially approved HIFU as a medical treatment for prostate cancer in the U.S. In turn, the International HIFU Centers, founded by Dr. Suarez, celebrates 14 years of performing HIFU in centers throughout the world. HIFU is a targeted, non-invasive, outpatient therapy that uses ultrasound energy to heat and destroy specific areas of cancerous tissue without damage to surrounding areas.
Dr. Suarez performed the first HIFU treatment in North America, and helped design and develop the first HIFU system with SonaCare Medical. He has performed over 2,300 HIFU treatments – more than any other doctor in the world – and trained over 500 physicians in how to administer HIFU. His dedication to bringing HIFU to the U.S. in order to provide a better treatment for prostate cancer that not only cures men of the disease, but also preserves their dignity, resulted in its FDA approval in 2015.
In the last year since HIFU has been FDA-approved there have been:
- Over 450 HIFU cases performed in the United States*
- 43 physicians throughout the United States actively treating prostate patients with HIFU, all of whom were trained in HIFU by Dr. Suarez
- Over 100 HIFU cases performed by Dr. George Suarez (in 2016)
*Cases performed on SonaCare device, through September 12, 2016.
Dr. Suarez was able to show that HIFU significantly decreases the risk of impotence, from 80% to 2%, and incontinence, from 20% to .4%, when compared to other prostate cancer treatments such as surgical removal of the organ or radiation. In addition, the study showed a 95.4% decrease in PSA levels with 80% of patients remaining cancer-free for up to 10 years. HIFU is done in an outpatient setting and does not require surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. It can be used as a first line of therapy or as a salvage therapy for when other prostate cancer treatments fail.
While the technology has been approved for medical use in Europe for some 15 years now and offered at various sites throughout the world by Suarez's International HIFU Centers,
it is now no longer necessary for American men to travel overseas to obtain the life-altering treatment thanks to Suarez.
"Having changed the culture of how we treat the most common cancer in men and having the opportunity to impact the entire community of urologists around the world is deeply gratifying," said Dr. Suarez. "But most importantly, we can now provide an effective treatment that offers a cure without compromising quality of life and dignity for men."
The Sonablate is Dr. Suarez's choice of HIFU prostate cancer treatment as it provides real-time images of the prostate and non-ionizing technology which allows for more HIFU prostate treatments in the same or different areas if necessary.
"Dr. Suarez has been a longtime supporter of focused ultrasound ablation in general, and SonaCare specifically. He has been a pioneer in the field and has had as much influence as anyone in injecting the technology and therapeutic approach into mainstream urologic practice," said Dr. Mark Carol, CEO of Sonacare Medical. "As focused ultrasound continues to grow in reach and application, I expect that George will continue to be a guiding force, leading the way with new uses of the technology in men's health."
"From the very beginning since designing the FDA trial protocols, I never doubted that HIFU would one day receive FDA approval," said Dr. Suarez. "Having had the opportunity to perform the procedure outside the U.S. for over a decade provided me invaluable experience, knowledge and an advantage to teach others that are just now becoming familiar with the technology."
HIFU represents an historic advancement in the treatment of prostate cancer, which affects hundreds of thousands of men in the United States. With one in seven men being diagnosed in their lifetime, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 220,800 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, with six out of 10 cases diagnosed in men 65 or older.
For more information on Dr. George Suarez, visit www.hifumedicalexpert.com or call 305-274-7144.
SOURCE International HIFU Centers