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 ovarian 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 ovarian tumors to be treated without surgery. While focused ultrasound can treat multiple tumors, the major effort has been focused on ovarian cancer.
The primary options for treatment of ovarian cancer 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.
A clinical trial is recruiting patients with solid tumors with metastatic lesions, including ovarian cancer, at the University of Virginia.
There is currently a clinical trial in Surrey, United Kingdom that is using focused ultrasound to treat ovarian cancer (as well as other pelvic tumors).
Another clinical trial is underway in London, United Kingdom assessing focused ultrasound to treat ovarian cancer (as well as other advanced pelvic tumors), when all other treatment options are not available.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for ovarian tumors is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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