Pali Momi is First to Perform Unique Prostate Cancer Treatment on Patients in Hawaii


Physician in operating room.

Hawaii Pacific Health is the first in Hawaii to offer a new minimally invasive treatment for prostate cancer at Pali Momi Medical Center that can mean fewer side effects for patients. Pali Momi’s focal therapy treatment uses non-thermal irreversible electroporation, which leaves the prostate intact and avoids damaging surrounding blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. Traditional prostate cancer treatments often involve removing the entire prostate gland.

“Itʻs amazing to be able to offer this type of treatment to patients in Hawaii,” Dr. Thomas Sanford, a Pali Momi urologist, said. “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in our state, and irreversible electroporation not only allows us to treat patients and help them live longer, but most importantly, it maintains their quality of life.”

Traditional surgery or radiation therapy can leave patients with life-altering side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Irreversible electroporation focal therapy sends pulses of electricity through probes, which destroy only the portion of the prostate that contains cancer cells. Focal therapy allows more patients to stay home to receive treatment at Pali Momi, rather than travel to the mainland.

Pali Momi’s first focal therapy treatment using irreversible electroporation was performed in March 2024. The procedure lasts one to two hours and patients are often able to go home the same day. Most patients can resume normal activities just a few weeks after treatment. Members of the urology team then monitor each patient with imaging, prostate-specific antigen tests and biopsies as needed to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned.

“This treatment gives men with intermediate risk prostate cancer another much-needed option,” Dr. Sanford said. “Focal therapy is ideal for patients whose cancer is localized to the prostate.”

This cutting-edge technology was made possible through the Pali Momi Foundation, which supports the medical center through donations from the community.

Male patient and doctor talking in exam room.


Top: Dr. Thomas Sanford performs focal therapy treatment using non-thermal irreversible electroporation, a minimally invasive procedure for treating prostate cancer.

Bottom: Dr. Thomas Sanford (right) speaks with a patient at Pali Momi Medical Center.

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Liz Chun Uyehara