March 2015 Research Roundup


Leading the list of exciting new publications, Scientific Reports published Drs. Yongan Chung and Seung-Schik Yoo’s successful use of focused ultrasound–induced neuromodulation in a human subject. Additional highlighted work includes a technical study on the development of a new approach to possibly treat pancreatic cancer, a collaborative and comprehensive review of histotripsy indications, and a review from China of 5,000 patients in eight different indications who were treated with ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound.

A research group in Korea led by Drs. Yongan Chung and Seung-Schik Yoo successfully used focused ultrasound to create neuromodulation in a human subject. Stimulation of the somatosensory cortex created the sensation of tactile feeling in the patient. The paper, Image-Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulates Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex, was published in Scientific Reports.

Pancreatic Cancer
A technical paper by an interdepartmental group of researchers at the University of Washington considers endoscopic focused ultrasound for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. See Endoscopic high-intensity focused US: technical aspects and studies in an in vivo porcine model (with video).

Ultrasound-Guided Focused Ultrasound in China
In a large clinical review and metaanalysis that included 75 trials and more than 5,000 patients, scientists in China evaluated the use of ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound for treating uterine fibroids, ectopic pregnancy, chyluria, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, retroperitoneal sarcoma, and breast cancer. In their conclusions, the group suggested increasing or decreasing its use based on specific outcome data. See Efficacy of Extracorporeal Ultrasound-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound: An Evaluation Based on Controlled Trials in China.

University of Michigan researchers collaborated with those from the University of Washington to review recent preclinical studies on the use of two different methods of histotripsy for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and liver and kidney tumors, fragmenting kidney stones, enhancing antitumor immune response, and destroying cells. See Histotripsy Methods in Mechanical Disintegration of Tissue: Towards Clinical Applications.