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High-intensity focused ultrasound describes the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to ablate tumours without requiring an incision or other invasive procedure. This technique has been trialled on a range of tumours including uterine fibroids, prostate, liver and renal cancer. We describe our experience of using HIFU to ablate sacral chordoma in four patients with advanced tumours. Patients were treated under general anaesthetic or sedation using an ultrasound-guided HIFU device. HIFU therapy was associated with a reduction in tumour volume over time in three patients for whom follow up scans were available. Tumour necrosis was reliably demonstrated in two of the three patients. We have established a national trial to assess if HIFU may improve long-term outcome from sacral chordoma, details are given.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Neurosurg

Publication Date





446 - 451


Sacral chordoma, ablative therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, national clinical trial, Adolescent, Anesthesia, General, Child, Child, Preschool, Chordoma, Feasibility Studies, Female, High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation, Humans, Infant, Male, Necrosis, Patient Care Team, Postoperative Complications, Sacrococcygeal Region, Spinal Neoplasms, Treatment Outcome