The University of Michigan published a fascinating article about how ultrasound technology could become a non-invasive treatment that destroys cancerous tumors with “millimeter precision.” That sure beats the prospect of having the surgical alternative.
This kind of technology is called histotripsy and consists of sending targeted short acoustic energy bursts that will cause stress and damage to the tumor cells.
Because it’s non-invasive, targeting specific areas might be challenging depending on their location and the nature of the surrounding tissue. That’s why it’s crucial to study the outcomes based on partial tumor removals.
Most of the data come from successful experiments on rats that have liver tumors. Scientists say that even partial destruction of the tumor (50-70%) could halt the diseases’ progression, and in some cases, the immune system can clear the remaining tumor.
There’s a human liver cancer trial in the USA and Europe right now that will hopefully prove successful.
At the moment, liver cancer seems to be the focus of the research, and it ranks among the more common and severe forms of cancer worldwide.