Liver Tumors Partially Destroyed by Ultrasound Pulses Do Not Come Back in Study; Technique Pioneered in Rats at University of Michigan Could Improve Outcomes for Cancer and Neurological Conditions

Noninvasive sound technology developed at the University of Michigan (U-M) breaks down liver tumors in rats, kills cancer cells, and spurs the immune system to prevent further spread—an advance that could lead to improved cancer outcomes in humans. By destroying only 50% to 75% of liver tumor volume, the rats' immune systems were able to clear away the rest, with no evidence of recurrence or metastases in more than 80% animals. "Even if we don't target the entire tumor, we can still cause the tumor to regress and also reduce the risk of future metastasis," said Zhen Xu, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at U-M and corresponding author of the study in Cancers, published online on March 22, 2022.The open-access article is titled “Impact of Histotripsy on Development of Intrahepatic Metastases in a Rodent Liver Tumor Model.” Results also showed that the treatment stimulated the rats' immune responses, possibly contributing to the eventual regression of the untargeted portion of the tumor and preventing further spread of the cancer.
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