Focused Ultrasound Breast Research - December 2013 Update


Additional research is being conducted around the world on breast cancer and breast fibroadenoma. For example, collaboration between Philips and Utrecht University Medical Center in the Netherlands is using an innovative system that has been designed specifically to treat breast tissue.

Highlighted research that is currently planned or underway includes:

  • Drs. Chrit Moonen, Maurice van den Bosch, and colleagues at University Medical Center, Utrecht, in the Netherlands are working closely with Philips to evaluate safety and efficacy of the Philips MR-HIFU system for treatment of breast cancer. This study is based on partial ablation of the tumor with the primary ives of safety and correlation between histology and prediction based on temperature mapping. With satisfactory results, this will be followed by a study with complete ablation of the tumor.
  • Dr. Franco Orsi and the group at the European Institute for Oncology in Milan, Italy treated 22 patients with breast tumors up to 15 mm in a treat-and-resect protocol with the ultrasound-guided Chongqing JC HIFU system. Of the 20 resected patients, 19 did not have viable tumor in the sample, and two patients refused to be resected because the MRI performed after HIFU was negative: the tumor was radically ablated. The IRB closed the pilot study. Now a new protocol has been approved: six patients have been treated (ablated and resected) so far, and all resected specimens have been negative for viable tumor.
  • Dr. Hidemi Furusawa and his group at the Breastopia Hospital in Japan have the longest experience and more than 100 patients and 5 years of follow-up in their ground breaking study.
  • The University of Utah was recently awarded a sizable NIH grant for preclinical studies on breast tumors.
  • Other centers, including Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto are studying the combination of microbubbles and ultrasound to make breast tumors more responsive to chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Four European centers are using Theraclion’s ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound system to treat breast fibroadenoma with a greater than 75% reduction in volume and minimal complications.

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