- Last Updated: August 10, 2018
Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with esophageal 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 precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling esophageal tumors to be treated without surgery. Some preclinical work has been completed, but additional work and the translation of this to the clinical setting remains to be accomplished.
The primary options for treatment of esophageal tumors include medication and invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- 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.
- Enhanced chemotherapy dose for the target, with less impact to the rest of the patient.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of esophageal tumors.
Regulatory Approval and ReimbursementFocused ultrasound treatment for esophageal tumors is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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