A high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy HIFU technology is now proving to be effective in cancer treatment. Could this be the cancer treatment of the future?
These findings were published in the Journal of Applied Physics and brought about by a multi-institutional research team from China. They were able to develop a semi-enclosed cavity transducer that produced a properly focused standing wave-field with a subwavelength-scale focal region and very high ultrasound intensity. Researchers claim that the level of intensity brought about through this new transducer might be improving HIFU therapy by a lot.
HIFU is a treatment that uses sound waves to eradicate cancer cells. It concentrates ultrasound into a small focal region and raises the temperature to more than 65 degrees Celsius. This kills the nearby cancer cells without causing damage to the tissue surrounding them. Currently, HIFU can be used as an alternative cancer treatment but I would imagine is just as if not more costly than traditional cancer treatments.
Researchers at the University College Hospital in London found that 93 percent of patients who underwent HIFU therapy alone remained cancer free at five years following their treatments. This was all done without chemotherapy or radiation. Data shows that only one to two percent of patients who have had the HIFU treatment suffered long-term urinary incontinence which is much less than those who choose surgery in regards to prostate cancer. These findings are truly amazing and were presented at an annual meeting of the European Association of Urology in Munich Germany not too long ago.
“The results of this study are impressive and have the potential to transform prostate cancer treatment for many men in the future. It is extremely exciting technology and these results show that in men diagnosed early by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing, this targeted therapy could be as effective as surgery to remove the whole prostate gland or radiotherapy and cause far fewer side effects.”
Isn’t this fantastic? I have been completely blown away! I cannot wait to see where research on this takes us and how HIFU progresses in time.