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High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) capably bridges the disciplines of surgery, oncology and biomedical engineering science. It provides the precision associated with a surgical tool whilst remaining a truly non-invasive technique. Oxford has been a centre for both clinical and preclinical research in HIFU over the last twenty years. Research into this technology in the UK has a longer history, with much of the early research being carried out by Professor Gail ter Haar and her team at the Institute of Cancer Research at Sutton in Surrey. A broad range of potential applications have been explored extending from tissue ablation to novel drug delivery. This review presents Oxford's clinical studies and applications for the development of this non-invasive therapy. This includes treatment of solid abdominal tumours comprising those of the liver, kidney, uterus, pancreas, pelvis and prostate. It also briefly introduces preclinical and translational works that are currently being undertaken at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oxford. The safety, wide tolerability and effectiveness of this technology is comprehensively demonstrated across these studies. These results can facilitate the incorporation of HIFU as a key clinical management strategy.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Hyperthermia

Publication Date





81 - 88


High intensity focused ultrasound, clinical applications, drug delivery, neoplasms, thermal ablation, Abdominal Neoplasms, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, Female, High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation, Humans, Male