High-intensity focused ultrasound treatment for patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer

Department of General Surgery, Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410013, China. .
Hepatobiliary & pancreatic diseases international: HBPD INT (Impact Factor: 1.17). 12/2012; 11(6):655-60. DOI: 10.1016/S1499-3872(12)60241-0
Source: PubMed


High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive method of solid tissue ablation therapy. However, only a few studies have reported the effect of HIFU for unresectable pancreatic cancer. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical benefits, survival time and complications associated with the use of HIFU ablation in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.
Twenty-five patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer were enrolled in our study. All patients received HIFU therapy for tumors at least once. The therapeutic effects of HIFU was evaluated in terms of Karnofsky performance status (KPS) scores, pain relief, serum CA19-9, and imaging by B-US and CT before and after the therapy. We also recorded median overall survival time and complications caused by the treatment.
In the 25 patients, KPS scores were above 60, and increased KPS was observed in 23 patients after treatment. Pain relief occurred in 23 patients. Serum CA19-9 levels were significantly reduced one month after HIFU treatment and became negative in 5 patients. B-US revealed enhanced tumor echogenicity in 13 patients and decreased tumor blood supply in 9. Tumor necrosis was confirmed by CT in 8 patients one month after HIFU treatment. The median overall survival time was 10 months, and the 1-year survival rate was 42%. No severe complications were observed after HIFU treatment.
HIFU can effectively relieve pain, increase KPS, decrease tumor growth and prolong the survival time of patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

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Available from: Wei He, Apr 06, 2015
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    • "As a result, there is reduced or no blood circulation in the HIFU ablated tumor and a thin peripheral rim of contrast enhancement around the coagulative necrosis. Thermolysis in the capillary is not as effective as in larger vessels [17]. "
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