MR-guided ultrasound relieves bone metastasis pain

April 1, 2007

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has shown promise as a pain management strategy in patients with bone metastases for whom other treatments are ineffective, according to researchers at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel (Ann Oncol 2007;18:163-167).

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has shown promise as a pain management strategy in patients with bone metastases for whom other treatments are ineffective, according to researchers at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel (Ann Oncol 2007;18:163-167).

The goal of treatment for bone metastases is to relieve pain and reduce the risk of fracture. Treatment may consist of surgery, radiation therapy, pain medications, and/or bisphosphonate drugs.

In the study, 10 patients reported prolonged improvement in pain and/or a reduced dose of pain medication following MR-guided ultrasound ablation of bone metastases. One other patient found the MR-guided HIFU procedure too uncomfortable to complete treatment.

MR-guided HIFU is approved in the U.S. only for uterine fibroids, but researchers are investigating applications in breast, prostate, and brain tumors.