Focused ultrasound ablation goes after brain tumors

October 5, 2005

High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation has been tried successfully in soft-tissue tumors in the breast, prostate, kidneys, and liver. The next frontier is the brain.

High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation has been tried successfully in soft-tissue tumors in the breast, prostate, kidneys, and liver. The next frontier is the brain.

The researchers at Iowa State University have developed a computational model to assess the technique through heterogeneous tissue. A $350,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust will move the investigators to the next phase: testing the application in humans.

"We need to predict what the ultrasound beam will do when it goes through so many layers of tissue. You want to cook only the tumor and not the surrounding cells," said principal investigator Viren Amin, Ph.D.

Researchers also want to define protocols for specific tumor types and intend to use MR and ultrasound imaging to plan for focused ultrasound treatments.