Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with melanoma. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) potentially enabling melanoma to be treated without surgery.
The primary options for treatment of melanoma include invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- Enhanced chemotherapy dose for the target, with less impact to the rest of the patient.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
A clinical trial is recruiting patients with solid tumors with metastatic lesions, including melanoma, at the University of Virginia.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for melanoma is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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