- A new article provides an overview of the global state of the field for using focused ultrasound to treat breast cancer.
- The authors outlined ongoing research using several mechanisms of action and five devices and highlighted the technology’s ability to engage the immune system.
- Focused ultrasound has the potential to become an alternative or complement to existing treatments in the management of breast cancer.
A recently published article provides an overview of the worldwide state of the field for using focused ultrasound to treat breast cancer and breast cancer metastases. Researchers from LabTAU (a Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence) and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation outlined ongoing research using several different focused ultrasound mechanisms of action and five devices.
Data from the review, as collected through July 2022, included the following findings:
- There are nine ongoing clinical trials using focused ultrasound to treat various types and stages of breast cancer.
- Seven preclinical and three clinical studies have investigated the use of focused ultrasound for immunomodulation of breast cancers.
The focused ultrasound devices that are currently being used to treat breast cancer are made by Chongqing HAIFU, Theraclion, Profound Medical, the University of Utah (MUSE), and Insightec.
- Chongqing HAIFU’s Model-JC breast cancer device is being used for thermal ablation.
- Theraclion’s Echopulse device is being used to ablate breast tumors before the delivery of a cancer immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
- Profound’s Sonalleve device is providing thermal ablation before breast cancer surgery in one study and combining focused ultrasound with chemotherapy in another.
- The University of Utah’s MUSE focused ultrasound ablation device is being tested for the treatment of breast tumors with thermal ablation.
- The Insightec focused ultrasound device uses focused ultrasound to activate microbubbles and open the blood-brain barrier to deliver chemotherapy to breast cancer brain metastases as well as activate microbubbles for radiation sensitization.
Sonopermeation is another mode of action of therapeutic ultrasound. It relies on the ultrasound activation of microbubbles to enhance the delivery of chemotherapy, and it can be performed using a clinically approved ultrasound imaging device.
Focused ultrasound has already been approved in some European and Asian countries for the treatment of breast cancer using thermal ablation. Another condition, benign breast tumors, has been approved to be treated with focused ultrasound in Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe.
Focused ultrasound has the potential to become an alternative or complement to existing treatments in the management of breast cancer, with ongoing research evaluating the potential to improve treatment outcomes and decrease side effects. The technology may help address the need to develop noninvasive, personalized, and effective breast cancer treatments that have fewer side effects. Although many advances have been made in its treatment, breast cancer is still the most prevalent cancer in the world according to the World Health Organization.