Cancer Research UK excited about HIFU and bone mets

Cancer Research UK excited about HIFU and bone mets

HIFU melts bone metastases away

CANCERactive has championed the use of HIFU for over a decade. With HIFU, cancer tumours simply melt away, side-effects are minimal and hospitalisation can be just a few days or even as an out-patient.

Finally, after many a disparaging comment, Cancer Research UK are hailing it a ‘revolutionary new therapy for cancer and associated conditions’! 

Ah well, better late than never.

Researchers working at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, south London have now been using the technology to kill off metastatic bone lesions.

And this ‘breakthrough’ even claimed that, "in future, doctors believe they will also use ultrasound to zap prostate, breast and other tumours", just as we have been telling you for years.

HIFU has ’immense potential’ for any cancer

“This technology has immense potential,” said Professor Gail ter Haar, who is based at the institute.

CANCERactive has frequently covered HIFU, localised hyperthermia, clinical trials on breast cancer from the Karolinska Institute and even the new Nanoknife. Patients reading CANCERactive newsletters over the past decade have been using the technique in private clinics in Germany and elsewhere successfully.
“The technology is completely non-invasive and allows us to monitor changes we are making inside a person instantly,”
said Thomas Andreae, therapy director at Philips, which is collaborating with the ICR on ‘the project’. “It has all sorts of possible applications.”

Yes, we know.

Ultrasound involves using sound waves with frequencies above the audible limit for humans. At low power, ultrasound can be used to generate images of internal organs or foetuses growing in the womb. However, at very high energies, it can destroy tissue.

“When we pick a target tissue to kill off, we need to heat it up to about 55C for at least a second. That is enough to kill it off,” said Ter Haar. “Crucially, we can do that with ultrasound. More importantly we can do it at places that are deep inside an organ – while leaving tissue on the surface unaffected.”

Ultrasound beams are guided to milllimetre precision by magnetic resonance scanners.

GO TO: A Review on Localised Hyperthermia, Ablation and HIFU to treat cancer

Researchers are currently concentrating on the use of Hifu for patients with bone lesions linked to cancer. “These are patients who have got nothing else to fall back on,” said Professor Nandita DeSouza, another ICR researcher working on the Hifu project. “They have no other options available to control the terrible pain they can experience.” So far eight metastatic bone cancer patients have been treated this way. “All have responded very well,” added DeSouza. “The pain relief was instant.”

Yes, we know.

Now doctors believe it could be used to heat up tumour cells and kill them. Neighbouring healthy tissue would be unaffected because of the precise targeting the Hifu devices can now achieve.

Yes, we know. 

We even covered it from six years ago in Chris Woollams best selling book ‘Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’. Yet, his ideas were rubbished by pro-Pharma skeptics.

Just the start for HIFU cancer treatments

In addition, doctors believe that they could inject lipid capsules containing powerful anti-cancer drugs into patients’ bloodstreams. “We would then use ultrasound to heat up those tumours, causing the lipid capsules to melt and release their anti-cancer drug contents – directly on to the tumour,” said Andreae. “That would be a very powerful addition to our arsenal of cancer treatments in future.”


2016 Research
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