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Tumors partially destroyed with sound, don’t come back

Histotripsy is the non-invasive, non-ionizing, and non-thermal ablation technology guided by real-time imaging. Using focused ultrasound delivered from outside the body, histotripsy mechanically destroys tissue through cavitation, rendering the target into acellular debris.

The University of Michigan's non-invasive sound technique reduces liver tumors in rats, eradicates cancer cells, and activates the immune system to stop the disease's progression. This development may improve the prognosis for people with cancer. 

The clinical trial #HOPE4LIVER, sponsored by HistoSonics, is the result of histotripsy research conducted since 2001 by Xu’s laboratory at U-M.

The high rate of tumor recurrence and metastasis following the first treatment highlights the clinical need for bettering liver cancer outcomes. The rats’ immune systems were able to eliminate the remaining liver tumor after merely removing 50–75 percent of its volume, and more than 80% of the animals showed no signs of metastases or recurrence. This current study targeted only a fraction of each mass, leaving a viable intact tumor behind, to evaluate the consequences of partially eliminating cancers using sound. Additionally, it allowed the team to demonstrate the strategy’s viability in less than ideal circumstances.

Histotripsy is a viable alternative that can provide safe and efficient nonon-invasiveiver tumor ablation while overcoming the drawbacks of accessible ablation technologies. U-M engineers have paved the way for using sound waves for therapeutic purposes rather than the usual ultrasound use to create images of the inside of the body.

Additionally, the method is effective without having the adverse side effects of current methods like radiation and chemotherapy. The sound approach reduces the progression of the tumor and the probability of eventual metastasis. The drug increased the rats’ immune responses, which might have assisted in the untargeted tumor’s eventual shrinkage and inhibition of cancerous growth.

Histotripsy is a method that uses targeted, non-invasive ultrasonic pulses to destroy target tissue with millimeter-accurate precision mechanically.

The relatively new technique is currently being used in a human liver cancer trial in the United States and Europe. The entire malignant tumor is frequently not directly targetable in treatments for various clinical reasons, including the size, location, or stage of the mass. In the researchers’ opinion, the study’s findings should spur the clinical use of histotripsy as a treatment for patients with liver cancer.

Tumors partially destroyed with sound, don’t come back

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