Development and clinical evaluation of MR-guided focused ultrasound for 'tattooing' tumors to guide radiotherapy as well as other therapies.

Project Name: Development and clinical evaluation of MR-guided focused ultrasound for 'tattooing' tumors to guide radiotherapy as well as other therapies.
Status: Complete
Primary Site: University of Chicago Medicine
Sponsor Organization: Focused Ultrasound Foundation
Funded Date: Sep 24, 2010
Funding Period: Sep 24, 2010 - Dec 31, 2012
Funding Program: Research Award
Category: MOA
Amount Awarded: $100,000.00

Abstract

We hypothesize that focused ultrasound can be used – under MRI guidance - to delineate cancers as well as other pathologies with a precise pattern of small ablation marks that precisely show the position and boundaries of tumors. These tattoos can be designed to be highly conspicuous visually, using optical sensors, and/or on CT or Ultrasound. In the present application we focus on optimizing the conspicuity of the lesions on cone-beam CT scans, in order to guide radiotherapy. This pattern of ‘tattoos’ can be encoded very rapidly because the total volume of the ‘tattoos’ will be very small. Conspicuity of the ‘tattoos’ will be maximized by developing a heating protocol that first produces hemorrhage with mild heating, and subsequently increases heating to ‘fix’ the hemorrhaged blood in the tissue. Conspicuity of the ‘tattoos’ will be further increased by using focused ultrasound to trap a variety of contrast agents. The tattoos can be used to guide surgery, radiotherapy, biopsies and other interventional procedures. Use of HIFU to produce the tattoos will be clinically acceptable, since the tattoos will cause far less tissue damage than the subsequent therapy they are designed to guide, and the tattoos can be very rapidly encoded. In fact, by guiding the therapeutic intervention more accurately, the tattoos can reduce damage caused by therapy in normal tissue. In this application we develop and test the use of ‘HIFU tattoos’ to guide radiation therapy of cancer in a pre-clinical rabbit cancer model.

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