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 cervical tumors. 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) enabling cervical tumors to be treated without surgery. While significant work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of cervical tumors include medication and 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.
There is currently a clinical trial in Surrey, United Kingdom that is using focused ultrasound to treat cervical cancer (as well as other pelvic tumors).
A second clinical trial is underway in London, United Kingdom that is using focused ultrasound to treat cervical cancer (as well as other advanced pelvic tumors), when all other treatment options are not available.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for cervical tumors is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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Abel M, Ahmed H, Leen E, Park E, Chen M, Wasan H, Price P, Monzon L, Gedroyc W, Abel P. Ultrasound-guided trans-rectal high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for advanced cervical cancer ablation is feasible: a case report. J Ther Ultrasound. 2015 Dec 18;3:21. doi: 10.1186/s40349-015-0043-6.
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