October 1, 2007 - Researchers at GE Healthcare’s Global Research Center announced that they are working to better enable monitoring of the temperature changes and tissue damage with MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) to enable the noninvasive treatment of cancer and ensure that tumors can be safely destroyed without damaging healthy tissue around the tumor itself.
MRgFUS performed on the InSightec ExAblate 2000 system works by passing ultrasound waves through the body tissues just as for imaging. However, with the aid of MR Imaging the ultrasound energy can be focused on a small area such as a tumor or mass. It can raise the tissue temperature of the area high enough to destroy it. However, the surrounding tissue where the ultrasound energy is not focused is not damaged. The procedure is performed inside the MR magnet, and the doctor performing the ablation receives feedback about changes to the tumors during the procedure.
The goal is to develop safe, reliable, noninvasive options for treatment that would eliminate the need for invasive surgery and chemotherapy.
GE Healthcare is already part of an FDA approved treatment for uterine fibroids, and clinical trials are underway for the treatment of cancers of the brain, breast, liver and bone.
For more information: www.gehealthcare.com