The scientific program for the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was held virtually from May 29–31, 2020.

logo ASCO meeting 2020 conferenceIn prostate cancer, a large collaborative group based in the United Kingdom presented a review of registry data on outcomes following focal salvage ablative therapy with high-intensity focused ultrasound or cryotherapy. Results showed good safety data and good short- to medium-term oncological control. Additional outcomes data are forthcoming.

The meeting included two abstracts on using focused ultrasound to treat metastatic cancer. First, Alessandro Napoli and his group at Sapienza University of Rome presented a novel technique for ablating bone metastases in patients with oligometastatic prostate disease. The technique could be ideal for cancer patients with longer-term survival, because it significantly reduces the risk of toxic effects. Secondly, Tong Yang from Ningbo, China, presented a case series of 13 patients who underwent ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound treatment of liver metastases that were generated by a primary colorectal cancer. The treatment was safe, induced an excellent tumor response, and improved the long-term prognosis for these patients, who were unsuitable for other local treatments.

Preclinically, a collaborative histotripsy group from the University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, and the University of Washington presented simulation data on using various focused ultrasound sonication parameters to ablate tissues with a range of mechanical properties. The predictions generated by the simulations were then tested in model tissues and compared to histology samples with similar mechanical properties. This type of noninvasive measurement of tissue and tumor properties might lead to more personalized treatments for solid tumors.

Relevant Focused Ultrasound Abstracts

Prostate Cancer
Oncological outcomes of 356 patients undergoing salvage focal ablative HIFU or cryotherapy following radiation failure.

Metastatic Cancer
MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) for the treatment of oligometastatic prostate cancer bone metastasis.

HIFU for the treatment of difficult colorectal liver metastases with unsuitable indications for resection and radiofrequency ablation: A phase I clinical trial.

Solid Tumors
Focused ultrasound ablation of solid tumors: Feasibility of planning tissue-selective treatments.

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