High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in patients with solid malignancies: Evaluation of feasibility, local tumour response and clinical results

Interventional Radiology Unit of European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, 20141, Milan, Italy.
La radiologia medica (Impact Factor: 1.34). 02/2011; 116(5):734-48. DOI: 10.1007/s11547-011-0634-4
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ultrasound-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (USgHIFU) for ablation of solid tumours without damaging the surrounding structures.
A specific written informed consent was obtained from every patient before treatment. From September 2008 to April 2009, 22 patients with 29 lesions were treated: nine patients with liver and/or soft-tissue metastases from colorectal carcinoma (CRC), six with pancreatic solid lesions, three with liver and/or bone metastases from breast cancer, one with osteosarcoma, one with muscle metastasis from lung cancer, one with iliac metastasis from multiple myeloma and one with abdominal liposarcoma. The mean diameter of tumours was 4.2 cm. All patients were evaluated 1 day, 1 month and 3 months after HIFU treatment by multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), positron-emission tomography (PET)-CT and clinical evaluation. The treatment time and adverse events were recorded.
All patients had one treatment. Average treatment and sonication times were, respectively, 162.7 and 37.4 min. PET-CT or/and MDCT showed complete response in 11/13 liver metastases; all bone, soft-tissue and pancreatic lesions were palliated in symptoms, with complete response to PET-CT, MDCT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); the liposarcoma was almost completely ablated at MRI. Local oedema was observed in three patients. No other side effects were observed. All patients were discharged 1-3 days after treatment.
According to our preliminary experience in a small number of patients, we conclude that HIFU ablation is a safe and feasible technique for locoregional treatment and is effective in pain control.

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