Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Using Ultrasound to Combat Liver Tumors

21.03.2013
Fraunhofer MEVIS presents promising intermediate results as part of the FUSIMO EU project.

Ultrasound can do much more than record images from the body. Clinicians now use ultrasound to treat tumors. Powerful, concentrated ultrasound waves are focused in the patient’s body to heat cancer cells to 60 degrees Celsius, destroying them and leaving healthy tissue largely unharmed.

Until now, this ‘focused ultrasound therapy’ has only been approved for a small number of diseases, such as uterine tumors and prostate cancer. In the context of the FUSIMO EU project, MEVIS researchers work to expand the application of the method to other organs, such as the liver, which shift in the abdomen during breathing. Now, two years after the beginning of the project, many promising intermediate results have been attained.

Treating the liver with focused ultrasound presents a major problem: The organ shifts back and forth during breathing. This increases the risk that the ultrasound beam path misses the cancer cells and instead heats the surrounding healthy tissue too strongly. For this reason, researchers have only applied this method for patients under general anesthesia. To treat a tumor with ultrasound, the medical ventilator is paused for a few seconds so that the patient remains absolutely still. However, general anesthesia presents its own risks and strains the patient, negating the largest advantage of focused ultrasound therapy – its non-invasive nature.

To solve this problem, the FUSIMO EU project employs a different strategy. If ultrasound therapy for a moving liver can be simulated with a computer as realistically as possible, the likelihood of using such treatment on the organ without general anesthetic rises greatly. Ultrasound treatment would be either activated only when the tumor crosses the focus or by tracking the moving abscess so that it remains in the beam path. FUSIMO, coordinated by Fraunhofer MEVIS, develops the essential software for this vision.

After two years, the project has reached an important milestone: Experts have produced software with which liver operations using ultrasound can be individually simulated for each patient. Magnetic resonance data build the foundation from which 3D images of a patient’s abdomen are generated with additional information about the breathing movements over the time.

Simulations of ultrasound interventions with FUSIMO software are based upon these data sets. To initiate a simulation, researchers enter the time, location, and strength of the desired ultrasound activation. The software created by Fraunhofer MEVIS to efficiently simulate abdominal temperature links two developments: the calculation of ultrasound diffusion provided by the Israeli firm InSightec Ltd. as well as a model of liver movement during breathing from the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich. The software generates an abdominal ‘temperature map’ that indicates whether a moving tumor has been sufficiently heated and whether the surrounding tissue has been damaged. In case of suboptimal results, the simulation can be repeated with different parameters. In the long term, the software could help clinicians plan operations and monitor therapy outcomes.

At the European Radiologist Congress in Vienna, chief radiologist at La Sapienza University in Rome Carlo Catalano stated, “High-intensity focused ultrasound under MRI guidance has become a frequently applied means of treating non-invasive tumors – for example in the treatment of fibroadenoma of uterus and of bone metastases – but treating tumors in moving organs still represents a major challenge due to several complexities.” In this respect, FUSIMO is an exciting project aimed at developing computer simulations for treating the liver with focused ultrasound.

In cooperation with both the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT) at the University of Dundee and La Sapienza University, MEVIS experts will refine the software during the remaining project year and validate it by comparing experimental data with results from the simulation, which is necessary for determining how realistically the software performs. In principle, this procedure could be applied to other abdominal organs that are shifted by breathing and difficult to target with the ultrasound beam path, including stomach, kidneys, and duodenum. In addition, specialists are working on a “medicine taxi”: cancer medication enclosed in a small fat globule and inserted into the circulatory system. Focused ultrasound beams function as keys to open the globules when inside tumors in organs such as the liver. This process raises the efficacy of the medicine and minimizes harmful side effects.

About the FUSIMO project:
FUSIMO stands for “Patient specific modelling and simulation of focused ultrasound in moving organs.” The EU project commenced in 2011 and is funded for three years with 4.7 million euro. Eleven institutions from nine countries are involved. FUSIMO is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen, Germany. The second project review by EU experts will take place on March 21 in Brussels.

Bianka Hofmann | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Further information:
http://www.fusimo.eu/
http://www.mevis.fraunhofer.de/

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate
21.02.2017 | Radiological Society of North America

nachricht Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery
17.02.2017 | Children's National Health System

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>