Histotripsy: A new technique which destroys cancer using soundwaves (now in Clinical Trials)

Translate
Illustration of histotripsy technology. Image courtesy of Medicine at Michigan Magazine.

A new technique that destroys cancer using soundwaves.  It also spurs the immune system to kill off any of the tumour left, scientists have revealed. The non-invasive treatment only needs to be partially effective to stop the cancer spreading.

It is currently being tested on human liver cancers in the US and Europe following successful trials in rats. The team from the University of Michigan showed the non-invasive sound technology is able to prevent further spread with no evidence of recurrence or metastases in the majority of cases. The treatment, called histotripsy, noninvasively focuses ultrasound waves to mechanically destroy target tissue with millimetre precision. In many cases, the entirety of a cancerous tumour cannot be targeted directly in treatments due to the mass’ size, location or stage.

However, researchers investigated the effects of partially destroying tumours with sound to 50 or 75 per cent and found the technique was still very effective. They showed that in 80 per cent of cases performed on rats, the immune system broke down the rest of the tumour and it did not return.

Professor Zhen Xu, at the University of Michigan, said: “Even if we don’t target the entire tumour, we can still cause the tumour to regress and also reduce the risk of future metastasis. Our transducer delivers high amplitude microsecond-length ultrasound pulses—acoustic cavitation—to focus on the tumour specifically to break it up.

So, I guess you will now be thinking ….Does this work on Neuroendocrine Cancer liver metastases?   The answer is that no one really knows as the human trials have only just begun.  

Histotripsy is a type of ablation but uses a totally different technique which is non-invasive. It uses focused ultrasound waves to mechanically destroy target tissue with millimetre precision. In many cases, the entirety of a cancerous tumour cannot be targeted directly in treatments due to its size, location or stage.

Ablative techniques are currently used on Neuroendocrine Cancers so will this form of ablation work? Again, we simply don’t know for sure without clinical trials. This is hugely different tech.  Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA) use heat to destroy cancer cells or tumours (more than just the liver). The heat is supplied by electrical currents passed through a special needle placed directly into the liver. This may also be known as percutaneous ablation. Cryoablation for cancer is a treatment to kill cancer cells with extreme cold. During cryoablation, a thin, wand-like needle (cryoprobe) is inserted through your skin and directly into the cancerous tumour.  All of these types are already used on Neuroendocrine Cancer but are invasive in nature.  The success ratios and risks are known and documented. 

The 700kHz, 260-element histotripsy ultrasound array transducer used in Prof. Xu’s lab. Image credit: Marcin Szczepanski, Michigan Engineering

Is this the same as High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)?

Not really but both may be in a grouping of similar treatments called “Focused Ultrasounds”Histotripsy has some similarities with High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) but whereas HIFU employs thermal energy to ablate tissues, histotripsy harnesses the energy of thousands of microbubbles — called cavitation — to emulsify tissue. 

HIFU is not known as a regular treatment for Neuroendocrine Cancer but is frequently used in (e.g.) Prostate and Uterine Fibroids. I can also see its deployment in cosmetic surgery.  HIFU is limited by long treatment times and the requirement for MRI thermometry or quantitative B-mode imaging for real-time feedback of treatment. Furthermore, thermal ablation of highly perfused tissue can be imprecise, inconsistent, or ineffective.

As far as I am aware, neither HIFU nor Histotripsy has been trialed in Neuroendocrine Cancer patients, nor have they been approved for use in the treatment of Neuroendocrine Cancers. 

Human Clinical Trials of Histotripsy

There are trials in Europe and US.  

US Trial – (8 sites in 6 states) – The HistoSonics System for Treatment of Primary and Metastatic Liver Tumors Using Histotripsy – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov

Europe Trial – (6 sites in 4 countries) The HistoSonics System for Treatment of Primary and Metastatic Liver Tumors Using Histotripsy (#HOPE4LIVER) – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov 

Two of the sites are in UK. So far, two patients have been treated with histotripsy in Leeds and two at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Cancer types of patients not known. 

Summary

The only thing I am sure about is that I will be keeping an eye on the development of Histotripsy and bringing you news directly via all my sites and accounts.  Stay tuned.

As I keep telling you, we should always hope for breakthroughs, but it’s very early days for Neuroendocrine Cancer. 

For the hope angle, read the story of 68-year-old Sheila Riley from UK – click here

Finally

Whenever I post about a trial or study, some people get excited without understanding that these new treatments and capabilities can very often take years to come to fruition and it’s also possible that clinical trials can be halted, or that national approval agencies will not approve the final product.  Plus, not everyone will be eligible, so always check the exclusion and inclusion criteria in the relevant clinical trials document.   Please bear that in mind when reading studies/clinical trials posted on RonnyAllan.NET

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me.  Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional as they are not members of the private group or followers of my sites in any official capacity.  Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

General Clinical Trials Disclaimer

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided in the clinical trials document. It’s very important to check the trial inclusion and exclusion criteria before making any contact. 

Inclusion of any trial within this blog should not be taken as a recommendation by Ronny Allan. 

 
 

Subscribe to my newsletter

Neuroendocrine Cancer: Glossary of Terms

Welcome to my Neuroendocrine Cancer terms and definitions list providing a source of meanings for acronyms and medical terms, all sourced from top Neuroendocrine Cancer and

Read More »

Opinion: On Rare Cancer Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?

On Rare Cancer Day, what’s wrong with a bit of Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness?  Well, there are three main things wrong with Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness: 1.

Read More »

Prospective Phase II Trial of Prognostication by 68Ga-NOTA-AE105 uPAR PET in Patients with Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: Implications for uPAR-Targeted Therapy

Summary A novel PET radiotracer can accurately assess the presence of a biomarker that indicates the level of tumor aggressiveness in neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs). According

Read More »

Living with cancer: 5 tips for facing things you can’t control

I’m wired not to worry too much about something I cannot control.  For example, I automatically ignore any concerns about being inside an imaging device

Read More »

A Study of CF33-hNIS (VAXINIA), an Oncolytic Virus, as Monotherapy or in Combination With Pembrolizumab in Adults With Metastatic or Advanced Solid Tumors (MAST)

A Study of CF33-hNIS (VAXINIA), an Oncolytic Virus, as Monotherapy or in Combination With Pembrolizumab in Adults With Metastatic or Advanced Solid Tumors (MAST) Neuroendocrine

Read More »

Neuroendocrine Cancer: When you get years added to your life, it’s important to get life added to your years

Self Pity or Self Help?  I’m not one for wallowing in self-pity or accepting invites to pity parties.  It’s not my style. Things happen in

Read More »

Opinion: Neuroendocrine Cancer – remission, cancer-free, no evidence of disease

An opinion post Cure I once wrote an article called “Neuroendocrine Cancer – can it be cured“.  In that article, I covered the fact that

Read More »

Clinical Trial: Phase 1b/3 Targeted Alpha-Emitter PRRT RYZ101 (Ac225)

What is RYZ101? RYZ101 is an investigational targeted alpha-emitter radiopharmaceutical therapy, designed to deliver a highly potent radioisotope, Actinium-225 (Ac225), to tumors expressing SSTR2. RYZ101

Read More »

Lung nodules – something or nothing?

Background A focus on the issue of Lung nodules given I see these mentioned all the time in my online patient group, on many occasions

Read More »

Thanks for reading.

Ronny

I’m also active on Facebook. Like my page for even more news. Help me build up my new site here – click here and ‘Like’

Sign up for my newsletters – Click Here

Disclaimer

My Diagnosis and Treatment History

Follow me on twitter

Check out my online presentations

Check out my WEGO Health Awards

Like my new awareness page – click here or on the photo.  (Like rather than follow please!)

Remember ….. in the war on Neuroendocrine Cancer, let’s not forget to win the battle for better quality of life!

patients included

Please Share this post for Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness and to help another patient

 
 
 
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
WhatsApp
Email

2 thoughts on “Histotripsy: A new technique which destroys cancer using soundwaves (now in Clinical Trials)

  • Ann

    Hi Ronnie

    This treatment has been around for years, there are many treatments out there that big pharma don.t want you to know about people were at the time shut up about it if you get my meaning, Mmmm strange how it is coming to light all of a sudden, Oh and I have Neuroendocrines Tumours in my Lymph nodes after having most of my Pancreas and tumour taken away 2011.

I love comments - feel free!

%d bloggers like this: