High intensity focused ultrasound: a noninvasive therapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
The noninvasive ablation of pancreatic cancer with high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) energy is received increasingly widespread interest. With rapidly temperature rise to cytotoxic levels within the focal volume of ultrasound beams, HIFU can selectively ablate a targeted lesion of the pancreas without any damage to surrounding or overlying tissues. Preliminary studies suggest that this approach is technical safe and feasible, and can be used alone or in combination with systemic chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer. It can effectively alleviate cancer-related abdominal pain, and may confer an additional survival benefit with few significant complications. This review provides a brief overview of HIFU, describes current clinical applications, summarizes characteristics of continuous and pulsed HIFU, and discusses future applications and challenges in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.