News | September 28, 2008

Philips Uses Ultrasound-Activated Microbubbles for Cancer Treatments

September 29, 2008 - Philips is developing a system that uses ultrasound-activated microbubbles for chemotherapy drug delivery designed to increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects.

The system proposes the use of drug-loaded microbubbles, no larger than red blood cells, which can be injected into the patient’s bloodstream, tracked via ultrasound imaging and then ruptured by a focused ultrasound pulse to release their drug payload when they reach the desired spot. Because the drugs would only be released at the site of the diseased tissue, the patient’s total body exposure to them could be limited. For certain types of treatment – for example, chemotherapy for breast cancer – this could help to reduce unpleasant side effects.

The use of microbubbles in conjunction with medical ultrasound imaging is not new. However, at the moment in clinical practice, microbubbles are only used as contrast agents for example to highlight blood in the ultrasound images – an application that relies on the fact that microbubbles reflect ultrasound much better than blood or soft tissue.

The drug delivery technology being developed by scientists at Philips Research continues to utilize the contrast-enhancing capabilities of microbubbles to help ultrasound operators to locate tumors – based on their density and the fact that tumors typically grow a recognizable network of small blood vessels around themselves. What’s new is that it then shatters the shells of the microbubbles in these blood vessels using a focused high-energy ultrasound pulse. As a result, the drugs contained in the microbubbles are released directly inside the tumor.

Philips is working with several academic partners, including the University of Virginia (USA) and the University of Muenster (Germany), to refine the technology. Clinical institutions, such as The Methodist Hospital in Houston (USA), are also actively researching this new and exciting field of ultrasound mediated drug delivery.

“More and more, patients are demanding treatment options that allow them to maintain their quality of life during the treatment regime, without sacrificing treatment efficacy,” comments King Li, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology at the Methodist Hospital in Houston (USA) and professor of Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College (USA). ”The non-invasive nature of ultrasound mediated delivery is a step in this direction. Work at our and other institutions using ultrasound for drug delivery and treatment guidance has shown the potential of this technology in pre-clinical studies.”

For more information: www.medical.philips.com

Related Content

Bay Labs and Northwestern Medicine Enroll First Patient in AI Echocardiography Study
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | November 19, 2018
Medical artificial intelligence (AI) company Bay Labs and Northwestern Medicine announced that the first patient has...
QView Medical Showcases QVCAD for ABUS Exams at RSNA 2018
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | November 19, 2018
QView Medical will showcase QVCAD, the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved artificial intelligence (...
SuperSonic Imagine Introduces Aixplorer Mach 30 Ultrasound at The Liver Meeting
Technology | Ultrasound Imaging | November 14, 2018
SuperSonic Imagine recently exhibited at The Liver Meeting, held Nov. 9-13 in San Francisco, where the company...
New Robotic Arm System Optimizes Testing of Ultrasound Probes

Image courtesy of Esaote

News | Ultrasound Imaging | November 09, 2018
Medical imaging company Esaote and The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, have...
The Acuson Sequoia

The Acuson Sequoia from Siemens Healthineers.

Feature | Ultrasound Imaging | November 05, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis
As the world’s most utilized medical imaging modality, ultrasound is likely to be featured heavily at the 2018...
Fujifilm SonoSite Launches New Point-of-Care Ultrasound Educational Resources
News | Ultrasound Imaging | November 01, 2018
Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. announced the launch of its redesigned SonoSite Institute, a comprehensive online educational...
Vygon and Sonoscanner Partnering on New Ultrasound System for Catheter Placement Guidance
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 31, 2018
Vygon, an international group specialized in single-use medical devices, and French company Sonoscanner announced the...
Cardiac Ultrasound Software Streamlines Fetal Heart Exams
Feature | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 30, 2018
A new tool called fetalHQ on GE Healthcare’s Voluson ultrasound systems is the first tool to simultaneously examine the...
Hitachi Supports ASE Foundation Cardiovascular Outreach Mission in West Virginia
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 29, 2018
Hitachi Healthcare Americas participated in the cardiovascular screening and diagnostic triage event that took place...
Philips Debuts Integrated Breast Ultrasound Solution
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | October 26, 2018
Philips announced what it calls its ultimate ultrasound solution for breast assessment, available with the Philips Epiq...