Dr. Michael Lazar Named Medical Director of the SonaCare HIFU Pilot Project in Puerto Vallarta

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Leading Santa Rosa, California, Urologist Dr. Michael Lazar, has been named Medical Director of the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) project currently underway at a well-equipped medical facility in Puerto Valarta, Mexico. This procedure involves the implementation of a new technology using sound waves to destroy cancer cells in the male prostate gland.

Dr. Michael Lazar

Today we can cure prostate cancer by treating the whole gland, or locally in the region of the cancer only, in just a few hours without blood loss and minimal side effects.

This project is sponsored by SonaCare Medical, LLC, developers of minimally-invasive HIFU technologies designed to significantly improve the quality of life for prostate cancer patients using focused ultrasound energy waves emitted from the firm’s Sonablate® 500 transrectal probe to destroy cancer cells without conventional surgery.

SonaCare’s Sonablate® 500HIFU Ablation Software™ utilizing T3 Technology™ enables the operator to target ablation zones with sophisticated planning and localization tools, treat disease with pin point accuracy while sparing untargeted tissue and track with advanced real-time ultrasound imaging.

Dr. Lazar has been a pioneer in the application of HIFU by working closely with SonaCare physicians and engineers in the development of this new technique. He has been treating patients with successful HIFU procedures with minimal side effects since April 2007.

“In the past, the entire prostate gland was removed surgically or irradiated causing issues associated with incontinence, erectile dysfunction (ED) and weeks of recovery,” according to Dr. Lazar. “Today we can cure the cancer by treating the whole gland, or focally in the region of the cancer only, in just a few hours without blood loss and minimal side effects. This is a real game changer. Virtually all patients can be up and walking out of the hospital the same day to resume normal activities with little or no pain.”

Dr. Lazar said that cancer can now be detected in very early stages based on PSA blood testing along with MRI and ultrasound scans and a biopsy. This may allow treating only the areas with cancer cells using HIFU rather than excising the whole gland with a scalpel. Another factor to consider is that many cancers of the prostate progress slowly, so there is less reason to destroy the entire prostate just to address localized cancer that has not spread throughout the gland, a significant factor when it comes to maintaining erectile function and urine flow through the urethra following a full oblation (removal) procedure.

While HIFU is pending FDA approval for general use in the United States, SonaCare Medical is currently conducting a clinical trial in the U.S. and Canada to determine the safety and efficacy of a minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment using HIFU with the Sonablate® 500. The trial is for patients who have recurrent prostate cancer after receiving a previous treatment with external beam radiation therapy. To be eligible to be considered for the U.S. recurrent trials, candidates must:

  •     Have been treated with external beam radiation therapy two or more years prior;
  •     Have low-risk, organ-confined recurrent prostate cancer T1c or T2a;
  •     Be between the ages of 40 and 85;
  •     Have a PSA level between 0.5ng/mL and 10ng/mL;
  •     Have a recent (within six months) prostate biopsy that is positive for cancer.

There is no cost to enroll in the study, nor does it require health insurance. For more information call 877.605.HIFU.

For more information about Dr. Michael Lazar, go to the HIFU website or call (707) 546-5553. His office is located at 1140 Sonoma Ave #1A, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.

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John Beilharz
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