• Clinicians at Seoul National University Hospital are using focused ultrasound on pancreatic cancer lesions to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
  • To date, 10 of 30 patients have been treated in this Foundation-funded trial.

Key Points

  • Clinicians at Seoul National University Hospital are using focused ultrasound on pancreatic cancer lesions to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
  • To date, 11 of 30 patients have been treated in this Foundation-funded trial.

pancreatic cancer stockClinicians at Seoul National University Hospital in Korea are using low power (mechanical) effects of focused ultrasound on pancreatic cancer lesions to try to enhance the effectiveness of a common chemotherapy regimen. To date, 11 of 30 patients have been treated in the trial.

Jae Young Lee, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator for the study, titled “Evaluation of Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of Concurrent FOLFIRINOX Plus HIFU (ALPIUS 900) For Locally Advanced/Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer: A Prospective Single-Center, Single-Arm, Investigator-Initiated, Open-Labeled, Exploratory Clinical Trial,” which has been funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

The chemotherapy regimen – abbreviated as FOLFIRINOX – is a combination of chemotherapy medications that are used to treat advanced metastatic pancreatic and bowel cancers. The drugs that make up this regimen are folinic acid (FOL), fluorouracil (F), irinotecan hydrochloride (IRIN), and oxaliplatin (OX).

The trial aims to determine whether focused ultrasound can improve the absorption of the FOLFIRINOX drugs, and the hope is that the treatment will help disrupt the dense tumor stroma to allow better penetration and effectiveness of the drugs. Researchers are using an ultrasound-guided ALPIUS 900 focused ultrasound system that is manufactured by Alpinion, a Korean company.

“The patients that are enrolled in this study know that unresectable pancreatic cancer is no different from a death sentence,” said Dr. Lee. “We are grateful for their willingness to help find an effective treatment that may someday help patients of the future.”

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