October 2017 Research Roundup


researchroundupLiver and pancreatic cancers are among the most difficult diseases to treat. Physicians are studying the use of focused ultrasound in combination with other therapies to reduce tumor growth, improve survival, and improve immunotherapy results in these areas. With new ideas emerging in personalized cancer treatment, what are the latest developments in the use of focused ultrasound in treating these devastating tumors? Also, in patients who have undergone limb amputation, improved clinical results may be the result of using focused ultrasound to locate the source of chronic nerve pain.

Localized Microbubble Cavitation-based Antivascular Therapy for Improving HCC Treatment Response to Radiotherapy.
In their preclinical study of hepatocellular carcinoma, a collaborative group based at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found a 170% reduction in liver tumor growth 7 days post treatment and a 3.2-fold improvement in median survival time using combined radiotherapy with ultrasound-triggered microbubble destruction (UTMD) compared to radiotherapy alone. How did the UTMD sensitize the tumors to radiotherapy? See Cancer Letters.

Focused Ultrasound for Immuno-adjuvant Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer: An Emerging Clinical Paradigm in the Era of Personalized Oncotherapy.
Focused ultrasound may be uniquely equipped to address local and systemic limitations of conventional cancer therapies because of its capability to generate mechanical and/or thermal effects that capitalize on the unique genetic signature of a tumor. Research collaboration initiated by the University of Washington provides a comprehensive review of the limitations in current and emerging immune therapies that could be improved with focused ultrasound therapy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. See International Reviews of Immunology.

Intense Focused Ultrasound Preferentially Stimulates Transected Nerves within Residual Limbs: Pilot Study.
To address the chronic pain suffered by many amputees, researchers at the University of Washington used image-guided intense focused ultrasound (ig-iFU) to test the sensitivity of cut nerve endings in the residual limbs of amputee patients. They compared 90 patients to a control group. Could ig-iFU help physicians identify deep, tender tissue in patients with this type of pain? See Pain Medicine.