Focused Ultrasound Therapy

Clinical Trials SquareFocused 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 biliary tract tumors. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces biological effects in the tissue enabling biliary tract tumors to be treated without surgery.

The primary options for treatment for malignancies of the biliary tract include chemotherapy, but radiation therapy or surgery can also be used. For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide an enhanced method of chemotherapy treatment or a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.


  • Non-invasive approach, so no issues with wound healing, surgical complications or anesthesia
  • Sonodynamic approach can enhance the chemotherapy levels in the desired region, while minimizing the exposure of the rest of the body
  • Approach can be repeated, if necessary

Clinical Trials

Researchers in Japan are using sonodynamic therapy to activate chemotherapeutic agents in patients with biliary tract cancer. 

At the present time, there are no other clinical trials recruiting patients for biliary duct tumors treatments.

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

Focused ultrasound treatment for biliary duct tumors is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.

Notable Papers

Cao Q, Li JJ, Feng T, Shi YB, Wang G, Xia FF. Unilateral Stent Insertion With High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation for Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2020 Mar 11. doi: 10.1097/SLE.0000000000000780.

Masanori Maeda, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Jun Okamoto, Shin Yoshizawa, Nobutaka Abe, Hidekazu Nakamoto, Hiroshi Ishii, Kenichi Kawabata, Shinichiro Umemura, Nobuhiro Nishiyama, Azunori Kataoka, and Hiroshi Iseki. Sonodynamic Therapy Based on Combined Use of Low Dose Administration of Epirubicin-Incorporating Drug Delivery System and Focused Ultrasound. Ultrasound in Med. & Biol., Vol. 43, No. 10, pp. 2295–2301, 2017.

Takahashi A, Yamamoto Y, Yasunaga M, Koga Y, Kuroda J, Takigahira M, Harada M, Saito H, Hayashi T, Kato Y, Kinoshita T, Ohkohchi N, Hyodo I, Matsumura Y. NC-6300, an epirubicinincorporatingmicelle, extends the antitumor effect and reduces thecardiotoxicity of epirubicin.micelle, extends the antitumor effect and reduces thecardiotoxicity of epirubicin. Cancer Sci 2013;104:920–925.

Niu S, Cheng L, Qiao Y, Fu YF, Cao C. Combined Stent Insertion and High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation for Patients With Malignant Obstructive Jaundice. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2016 Dec;26(6):488-492.

Reid MH. Visualization of the bile ducts using focused ultrasound. Radiology. 1976 Jan;118(1):155-8.

Click here for additional references from PubMed.


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