The hardest part of his job, says Joo Ha Hwang, M.D., Ph.D., is informing patients that they have pancreatic cancer.
Hwang, a leading researcher in focused ultrasound and gastroenterologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, is troubled by the lack of effective treatments for this deadly disease. “For decades, we’ve been treating pancreatic cancer and coming up with one new drug regimen after another. Yet, nothing has made a dent in improving patient survival,” he notes.
Preclinical studies using MR-guided focused ultrasound for targeted drug delivery have achieved promising results, and Hwang believes clinical trials could begin within the next two years. “The potential impact of focused ultrasound could be huge,” he says. “It could completely change the paradigm for treating patients with pancreatic cancer.”