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Ultrason Sonochem. 2004 May;11(3-4):149-54.

Extracorporeal high intensity focused ultrasound ablation in the treatment of 1038 patients with solid carcinomas in China: an overview.

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Clinical Center for Tumor Theraphy, 2nd Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, 76 Linjiang Road, Chongqing 400010, China.


The ideal treatment of localized cancer should directly cause an irreversible and complete death of tumor cells without damage to surrounding normal tissue. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is such a potential treatment, which induces a complete coagulative necrosis of a tumor at depth through the intact skin. The idea that using an extracorporeal source of therapeutic ultrasound was introduced more than 50 years ago [J. Gen. Physiol. 26 (1942) 179]. However, up to now, most of the studies on HIFU have been dealing with animal experiments because this extracorporeal technique is very complicated in clinical applications. The purpose of this study is to introduce Chinese clinical experience of using extracorporeal HIFU for the treatment of patients with various kinds of solid tumor. From December 1997 to October 2001, a total of 1038 patients with solid tumors underwent HIFU ablation in China. Among them, 313 patients were treated at the Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, China. Pathological examination showed that the target region presented clear evidence of cellular destruction. Small blood vessels less than 2 mm in diameter were severely damaged. Follow-up diagnostic imaging revealed that there was no, or reduced, blood supply, and no uptake of radioisotope in the treated tumor after HIFU, both indicating a positive therapeutic response and an absence of viable tumor. Imaging at 6-12 months showed obvious regression of the lesion. Four-year follow-up data were significantly observed in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, osteosarcoma, and breast cancer. An extremely low major complication rate was noted. It is concluded that HIFU ablation is a safe, effective, and feasible modality for the ablation of carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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