Penn researchers study the use of ultrasound for treatment of cancer
Initial results in mice show this promising new treatment may disrupt the vessels supplying blood and nutrition to tumors
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 tumors 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 this new use had a profound effect on shutting down the blood flow to the tumor and reducing the growth of the tumor in mice," said Chandra Sehgal, PhD, Director of Ultrasound Research in the Department of Radiology at Penn and the studys principal investigator.
"We wanted to study this use of ultrasound because we observed that some 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."
Susanne Hartman | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...