Feasibility and toxicity of transrectal ultrasound hyperthermia in the treatment of locally advanced adenocarcinoma of the prostate

Helen Fosmire, Kullervo Hynynen, George W. Drach, Baldassarre Stea, Patrick Swift, J. Robert Cassady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Purpose: This Phase I trial tests the ability of a new hyperthermia device, the transrectal ultrasound probe, to heat the prostate gland, and evaluates the toxicity of transrectal ultrasound hyperthermia (TRUSH) given with concurrent standard external beam irradiation in the treatment of locally-advanced adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Methods and Materials: Between June, 1990 and August, 1991, 14 patients with American Urological Society Stage C2 or D1 adenocarcinoma of the prostate were treated with TRUSH concurrently with standard external beam radiotherapy to the prostate. Twenty-two heat treatments were delivered in 14 patients; 8 patients received two TRUSH procedures, each separated by 1 week. Patient age ranged between 53-86 (mean: 72) years. Three patients had well-, 6 patients had moderately-, and 5 patients had poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Karnofsky status ranged from 70-90. Standard radiotherapy to the prostate and periprostatic tissues was delivered using a four-field approach with 1.8-2 Gy daily fractions delivered 5 X/week to a total dose of 67-70 Gy calculated to the minimum tumor volume. TRUSH was delivered after transperineal placement of multipoint thermometry probes by a urologist, under transrectal ultrasound guidance. Two to three thermocouple probes containing seven sensors each were placed in the prostate in an attempt to sample temperatures throughout the gland. The sensor depth from the rectal wall ranged from 5-25 mm. Results: Thirty-six percent of all sensors were heated above 42.5°C averaged over 30 min; and all patients had at least some sensors within the prostate heated to temperatures ≥ 42.5°C. The average temperature of all sensors of all sensors (Tave ± s.d.) over all treatments, however, was only 41.9°C ± 0.9°C over 30 min. The maximum temperature for normal tissues outside the gland was 41.1°C ± 1.3°C. Treatments have been well-tolerated with few complications. Tolerance has been "good" in 17 22, "fair" in 3 22, and "treatment limiting" in sol2 22 treatments secondary to position intolerance and/or pain. There has been one episode of hypotension related to narcotic administration and three episodes of rapidly resolving pain during hyperthermia treatment. Mild hematuria has occurred in 5 22, and moderate hematuria has occurred in 2/22 transperineal thermometer catheter placements. Conclusion: In conclusion, TRUSH is well-tolerated and has great potential for consistently heating the prostate gland. We anticipate that further equipment modifications will improve our ability to heat the entire prostate to temperatures > 42.5°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-259
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 20 1993


  • Adenocarcinoma of the prostate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Transrectal ultrasound hyperthermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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