Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with insulinoma. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling insulinoma to be treated without surgery. In early anecdotal treatments, this approach has provided a new approach to treating patients that could not be controlled with medical therapy.
The primary treatment of insulinoma is surgery, although medications may be needed post operatively.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost. With more clinical experience, focused ultrasound could potentially replace surgery as a primary option.
In a case report, two patients had successful treatment of insulinomas. Neither required any medication post treatment, and there were no complications.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of insulinoma.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for insulinoma is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Mele C, Brunani A, Damascelli B, Tichà V, Castello L, Aimaretti G, Scacchi M, Marzullo P. Non-surgical ablative therapies for inoperable benign insulinoma. J Endocrinol Invest. 2017 Jul 28. doi: 10.1007/s40618-017-0738-3.
Gianluigi OrgeraEmail author, Miltiadis Krokidis, Lorenzo Monfardini, Guido Bonomo, Paolo Della Vigna, Nicola Fazio, Franco Orsi. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours: Report of Two Cases. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology. April 2011, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 419–423
Balawejder M, Skórkowska-Telichowska K, Kuniej T, Tuchendler R. Insulinoma located in the head of the pancreas: Is there an alternative to surgery? International Journal of Case Reports and Images 2014;5(4):285–294.
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