Penn Researchers Study the Use of Ultrasound for Treatment of Cancer
Saturday, November 05, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - For the first time, ultrasound is being used in animal models -- to treat cancer by disrupting tumor blood vessels. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine completed a study in mice in which they used ultrasound both to see a tumor's blood perfusion and then to treat it with a continuous wave of low-level ultrasound. After three minutes of treatment at an intensity similar to what is used in physiotherapy ultrasound (about 2.5 watts), researchers observed that the tumors had little or no blood supply.
"We used an ultrasound intensity higher than that used for imaging, but much lower than the high intensities used to ablate tissue. And we saw that of these newly formed vessels created by tumors are very weak in nature, and if you turn on low-intensity ultrasound vibrations you can disrupt the blood flow through these vessels," explained Andrew Wood, DVSc, PhD, a co-investigator of the study and based in the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
Sehgal adds, "This approach is in keeping with the latest study of cancer treatment utilizing antiangiogenic and antivascular therapies, in which we look for ways to stop the growth of the vessels supplying blood and nutrition to the tumors, rather than develop methods to kill the tumor cells themselves."
For years, ultrasound has been used for clinical imaging and for therapeutic action in physical therapy. But now, Sehgal explains, "These results are extremely encouraging. They raise the possibility that, in the future, treatments with ultrasound either alone or with chemotherapeutic and antivascular agents could be used to treat cancers."
The results of this study were published in the October 2005 issue of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. You can access it online at: www.sciencedirect.com < http://www.sciencedirect.com> (search for the UMB journal and then access Volume 31 - October 2005, article 15 "The Antivascular Action of Physiotherapy Ultrasound on Murine Tumors").
# # #
Editor's Notes: To schedule an interview with Dr. Chandra Sehgal, the principal investigator of the study, or Dr. Andrew Wood, the first author of the study, please contact Susanne Hartman at 215-349-5964 or email@example.com < mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> .
This study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One Medicine. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals at our two campuses. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education.
Visit us on-line at www.vet.upenn.edu