Researchers in Norway have completed a clinical trial indicating that delivering chemotherapy through low intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) and microbubbles may prolong the physical health of patients with pancreatic cancer. The study results showed a statistically significant median survival 17.6 months, compared to historical control group survival of 8.9 months.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is fourth most lethal cancer in the western world, and patients with advanced disease have a very poor prognosis. The study, published last month in the Journal of Controlled Release and led by principal investigator Georg Dimcevski, MD, PhD, associate professor at the Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway showed that using focused ultrasound and microbubbles to help deliver the standard chemotherapy treatment may be a breakthrough in improving the outlook for these patients.
The study, conducted at Haukeland University Hospital in Norway, enrolled ten patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Patients were treated with the chemotherapy gemcitabine followed by the use of ultrasound and microbubbles to invoke biomechanical effects that increase the permeability of the vascular barrier, enhancing delivery of the drug to the tumor.