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Focused ultrasound reduces cancer pain
Date:5/5/2014

(PHILADELPHIA)When cancer progresses and spreads to the bone, patients often suffer debilitating pain. Now, a new phase III clinical trial shows that non-invasive magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound treatment that heats the cancer within the bone, relieves pain and improves function for most patients when other treatment options are limited. The results were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).

Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) is a technique that's been safely used to treat thousands of women with uterine fibroids. However, "this is the first phase III study to use this technology in the treatment of cancer, " says the study's principal investigator and lead author Mark Hurwitz, M.D., Vice Chairman of Quality, Safety and Performance Excellence and Director of Thermal Oncology in the department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University.

Although radiation therapy is commonly used to treat bone-related pain and effective for most patients, not all patients experience pain relief and over time those who do may have recurrence of pain. In addition, it's possible for a patient to receive the maximum radiation dose that can be safely delivered without fully controlling the pain. In situations where radiation therapy is not an option, alternative treatments are required.

A total of 147 patients from 17 centers in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Italy, and Russia were enrolled in the study and randomized to undergo MRgFUS or a sham treatment. Patients in the treatment group received focused ultrasound precisely targeted to their bone tumors to heat the tumor tissue to between 65 and 85 degrees Celsius, resulting in its destruction. During each treatment, the patients were monitored real-time via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to ensure the right tissue was targeted and the right temperatures were reached while ensuring heat in surrounding normal tissues
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Contact: Edyta Zielinska
edyta.zielinska@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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